By Matt Peralta
With the Los Angeles Lakers failing to make the 2022 NBA Playoffs, some are speculating about LeBron James’ happiness and his future with the franchise.
James is eligible to sign a two-year extension with the Lakers, though he may be taking a wait-and-see approach before committing to another couple of years. The front office has a lot of work to do when it comes to rebuilding the roster, but they also have the responsibility of finding a new head coach who can lead Los Angeles back to the Finals.
Historically, the Lakers have worked closely with their superstars to build championship teams. The late great Dr. Jerry Buss created the blueprint when he committed to a rookie Magic Johnson as the centerpiece of their “Showtime” era dynasty. HBO’s “Winning Time” depicted the two’s relationship and Jeanie Buss confirmed their exchanges on the show were accurate, via her Twitter account:
“Winning Time” has come under fire for its portrayal of several figures –most notable Jerry West– though it seems they got the Buss-Johnson relationship correct. Buss pounded the table for Johnson to lead the Lakers as their point guard and the icon eventually delivered to the tune of five NBA championships. Johnson is widely credited for bringing the Purple and Gold back to prominence, though Buss had a large role in putting him in position to do so.
With the current Lakers group, Buss has taken it upon herself to build a relationship with James which the superstar has appreciated as he is reportedly in a good place with her. James has already brought one championship back to Los Angeles, and with his playing window dwindling it will be up to him and Buss to make sure they win another one.
Jeanie Buss pushes back on Klutch Sports narrative that they run Lakers
When a team has James, the natural inclination is to believe he and his agency Klutch Sports run their organization. That narrative has been a constant one for the Lakers who seemingly make moves to appease James and agent Rich Paul. However, Buss pushed back saying that all final decisions are from her though she did acknowledge that she would like them to be confident in L.A.