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Jerry Buss sheds light on recent practice visit

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A visit from team owner Jerry Buss to the Lakers' practice facility during an inconsistent stretch understandably could send the signal that he's displeased with the team's direction and could make changes to the roster. But the intention actually proved to be the opposite.

Buss arrived at the Lakers' morning shootaround before the team's 89-88 loss Feb. 3 to the San Antonio Spurs with many stories surrounding the Lakers, including these in no particular order: Mitch Kupchak's acknowledgement he'd consider a trade, a disputed report that Ron Artest wanted the Lakers to ship him to another team, Jerry West's debatable assertion that the Lakers' age and inconsistency on defense would make it difficult to three-peat, the Lakers' 4-4 record in their last eight games and lack of a signature victory. Instead of being another voice among those questioning the state of the Lakers, Buss said instead that sought to provide reassurance.

"I tried by my presence to come at a time when I tried to make them feel real about that and that things aren't really that bad," Buss  said in an interview with 710 ESPN's Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley as part of the Lunch with the Legend series at Morton's Steakhouse in downtown L.A. "If things were really that bad, I would be there every day, every day, every day. I tried to give them a sense that things are not so bad and we're OK and we're going to win. I tried to calm the seas."

That included making small talk with some of the players. That included teasing Artest for not having lunch together for the last three weeks ("You should've called me"), possibly setting up Lakers rookie forward Devin Ebanks with a future girlfriend ("There's a very beautiful model called Ebanks and she related to you") and getting a medical update from Matt Barnes on his surgically repaired right knee ("Are you going to be back in time to do us some good?")

Buss interestingly left out conversations he had with Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson but relayed a few interesting anecdotes when prompted. On Bryant, Buss shared an incident that happened roughly six years ago where the two met at Buss' residence and he sensed Bryant was seeking a trade. "I remember him saying, 'Don't blame me. All I'm out here for is to win,'" Buss recalled Bryant saying. "I looked at him and our eyes met and I said to him, "You're not the only one Kobe. You know I want to win, maybe even more than you do.' From that time on, Kobe and I have been on I think on the same wavelength. I think it's true that everybody knows on that team that I want to win just like the Black Mamba."

After Buss took a playful dig at Jackson for dating his daughter and team executive vice president  Jeanie by saying "I tell him he can call me, Dad," he shared that most of his conversations with Jackson revolve around the books each of them are reading, with Buss currently scouring through "Unbroken," which details the life of Louis Zamperini, a former USC track Olympian and a World War II prisoner survivor.

Most of the hour-long interview centered around the biography rather than news items, such as Buss' views on a possible lockout, whether the Lakers need to make a trade or the organization's recently struck 20-year deal with Time Warner Cable. He also hurried over to an adjacent dining room afterward and wasn't made available for an interview. But it's safe to say Bussstill shared the same optimism that he did at the morning shootaround he visited two weeks ago.

"We've had such a long run," Buss said. "We've been to the Finals for three consecutive years. All of those extra games play into the middle of June. If you quit in April, it's not hard to imagine that with all that time off, you are ready to go in October. But when we play until the middle of June, October comes around too quick. So October, November, etc, the more times we're in the Finals, the more difficult to begin to prepare for the next Finals. But I think right about now, everybody senses that we have to get busy. This is going to be our time. The pride begins to set in, not the fatigue. The fatigue begins to float away and they say, 'Wait a minute. This is our championship. You're going to have to take it away from us until you call yourself champion.' "

Jerry Buss on recent visit to Lakers' shootaround

Jerry Buss on getting a PHD in Chemistry

Jerry Buss on how he purchased the Lakers

Jerry Buss on growing up in Wyoming

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers owner Jerry Buss expressed optimism about the Lakers Wednesday to 710 ESPN at Morton's Steakhouse in downtown L.A. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times

 
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710 ESPN's Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley...

GACK!

DBDH!

I miss Mychal and Andrew... Kellerman makes me want to stab my ear drums out with the nearest sharp object.

Sup everyone - GAME DAY BABY!!!


EL GUAPOOOOOOOOoooooooooo - where you been??!!


MM - very good read. It's hard not to feel optimistic when reading Dr. Buss words. I guess he's a classic GHFer. My favorite line was....

"This is our championship. You're going to have to take it away from us until you call yourself champion."

@Magia/DBDH – Definite G-Funk classics. I haven’t heard Mista Grimm in forever. Magia32 - classic Warren G – But of course, I prefer the edited/clean version :-)


Anyway here’s another G-Funk classic for ya… “just a stubborn kinda fellow with a head like a brick”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWSLM2lFjvg

Everyone knows Quik sampled Betty Wright Tonight’s the Night for the hook, but many didn’t know he sampled Kleer's music…check it out at about 38 seconds…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWkAt6kF900

Yeah I miss Myhcel Thompson and Andrew, Max is pretty bad, I liked him on around the horn when he didn't have to say much

Dr. Jerry Buss = The Anti Al Davis


We play for rings, fool! RAWR!


DBDH!

Jerry Buss: Quite frankly, the best owner in sports. He's all about winning, and he always has been.

Go Lake Show!

This new cable deal sux. Count me as one of the 1.6 million Lakers viewers without cable or satellite. After next season, I'm in the dark. As it is, I only get the away games, except the last two because TNT took them.

That means that this season, I missed the Lakers playing the Celtics both times!

As a teacher, I cannot afford cable, I've already had to tighten my belt too much.

--FEARless

Why did ESPN 710 Radio replaced Mychal and Andrew with these two jerks?

I miss "The Loose Cannons".

Hey, I know that guy on the picture:

IT'S HIM! THE BEST OWNER ON PRO SPORTS!

Long live, Dr. Buss!


@FEARLESS... Sorry to hear about your cable situation. Please ask MM for my email address. Can’t have a Lakers fan and good friend like you who is also a teacher not to be able to watch every Lakers game. I would be happy to help you by sharing the online access I have via League Pass.
.....................................
TOM

This new cable deal sux. Count me as one of the 1.6 million Lakers viewers without cable or satellite. After next season, I'm in the dark. As it is, I only get the away games, except the last two because TNT took them.
That means that this season, I missed the Lakers playing the Celtics both times!
As a teacher, I cannot afford cable, I've already had to tighten my belt too much.
--FEARless
Posted by: FEARless | February 16, 2011 at 03:26 PM

FEARless, I watch alot of the games online. If you join any one of our live chats, you can ask someone for a link and you can watch the game live online in a second browser while you chat with us!

Sorry you are being affected. It's really a shame. But give this a try!

FEARless,

I agree with you about the cable deal.

I'm staying in a place that neither has any sports channels NOR has KCAL 9 and it sucks.

Every time I want to see the Lakers I have to go to a sports bar and spend money on over-priced beer and miss out on the game chat.

I don't like it one bit.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

cable deals are just a sign of the times and there are always ways to get around it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiJ9AnNz47Y

"He was at my house and a couple other people were there and I remember he was saying, 'Don't blame me, all I'm out here for is to win,'" Buss recalled. "And I looked at him and our eyes met and I said, 'You're not the only one Kobe. You know I want to win, maybe even more than you do.' From that time on Kobe and I have been, I think, on the same wave length. I think everybody knows on that team that I want to win just like the 'Black Mamba.'"

Trolls are so droll.

The Celtics picked green for their color because they're green with envy. Don't hate us because you 'aint' us.


DBDH!

MM- And just like THAT, the trolls are erased from existence. Well played, sir.


DBDH!

No Wonder the Lakers are playing so badly, If the owner is not concerned about the way they are playing right now, why would the players be. C'mon Jerry wake up and smell the coffee before it's too late!

No Wonder the Lakers are playing so badly, If the owner is not concerned about the way they are playing right now, why would the players be. C'mon Jerry wake up and smell the coffee before it's too late!


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