Is the King’s time up in Lakers land?
After workforce proprietor Jeanie Buss confirmed to Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke that she’s leaning on former Lakers coach Phil Jackson to assist the workforce bounce again after a disappointing season, Plaschke supplied some perception into Jackson’s serious about the roster.
“I’ve heard that Phil would like LeBron traded,” Plaschke mentioned Tuesday on “The Doug Gottlieb Show.”
“I’ve just heard that but I’ve got nothing to back that up. No on-the-record stuff to back that up. I do know that Phil would like to keep [Russell] Westbrook and try to make that work with him.”
Plaschke additionally mentioned he believes the Lakers would make it a requirement for the following head coach to make it work with Westbrook, who might be a difficult participant to commerce with one 12 months and $47 million left on his contract. The Lakers formally parted methods with head coach Frank Vogel in April. James is up for a contract extension on Aug. 4.
Plaschke’s feedback got here on the identical day the Times revealed his hours-long interview with Buss, who mentioned she is just not glad nor happy with the present state of the Lakers. He famous that in his dialogue with Buss, she pushed again towards the thought of buying and selling James and spoke about eager to make James glad.
This previous season, the James-led workforce and its Hall-of-Fame roster did not make the play-in event, not to mention the postseason — and Buss mentioned she is “growing impatient” with “not getting the results” she needed after going into the luxurious tax to herald Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and different veterans final offseason.
James reportedly had a heavy hand in recruiting Westbrook, who had one among his worst offensive seasons in his debut with the Lakers.
Buss enlisted Jackson and Lakers legend Magic Johnson to assist advise the workforce, and is leaning on each basketball minds to steer the franchise ahead after the Lakers posted a 33-49 report.
“There’s no reason for me to think we can’t win with them,” she mentioned. “Something that I learned from Phil Jackson is that there’s always a path to success. … Sometimes it might be a little bit harder than other times, … but you have to see the ability.”
Back in March, a number of stories tied Jackson to the Lakers, and mentioned he had an influential voice in consulting the workforce all all through this previous season.
After teaching the Bulls to 6 NBA championships, Jackson led the Lakers to 5 titles.
“We don’t like to be missing the playoffs, I understand the fans anger and frustration,” mentioned Buss. “I’ve got to make it better. This last year was extremely disappointing … it was hugely disappointing. I feel like we let down Laker fans, and don’t want to do that again, and we’ve got to get it right.”
In 2016, James took difficulty with Jackson referring to James’ handlers in an ESPN interview as a “posse.”