Birthday gift ideas for Jerry Buss
Everyone obviously knows where he's going. The Playboy Mansion and the poker tables. But there are a few other birthday gifts he'd surely enjoy.
1. Lakers' championship. Well, duh. Buss remains consumed with collecting Larry O'Brien trophies every year. His willingness to spend money, deference to the Lakers' front office and thirst for winning all contributed to the Lakers winning 10 of their 16 NBA championships under Buss' watch. He views titles like fashion models view clothing: more is simply never enough.
2. Dwight Howard/Deron Williams. OK, so of course, Buss wants another Lakers championship for his birthday. But the Lakers are currently in no position to do so. But here's the greatest form of gratitude Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak and executive/son Jim Buss could give to the Lakers' owner. Secure Howard or Williams before the trade deadline. It salvages the Lakers' currently lost hope in winning a championship this season.
3. David Stern apology. Perhaps this might not mitigate the league nixing the Chris Paul trade. But perhaps Stern can make amends by requiring the Lakers to pay less money in revenue sharing.
4. Mike Brown's DVDs. Jerry and Jim Buss fell in love with Brown during his job interview because of his DVDs that detailed his numerous offensive and defensive sets. They always wanted a copy, but Brown refused to give one way. With the Lakers traveling for a pair of back-to-back games this weekend against Milwaukee and Minnesota, perhaps Buss can see whether Brown left any at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo. If anything, viewing the immensely detailed DVDs might help Buss realize the Lakers made the wrong hire. Keeping Brian Shaw as Phil Jackson's successor would have minimized information overload.
5. More player personnel. The Lakers didn't retain contracts for most of the scouting department as a cost-cutting measure during the NBA work stoppage. Video coordinator Patrick O'Keefe and scout Ryan West were rehired. They also hired international scout Antonio Maceiras. But O'Keefe recently left to pursue further education, and the team's scouting department centers on an increased reliance on video work. It sure would be nice to have more personnel to help the Lakers' preparation.
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Photo: Lakers owner Jerry Buss turned 78 on Friday, and surely has an extensive birthday wish list involving the Lakers. Credit: Los Angeles Times