Los Angeles Lakers vice president and part-owner Jim Buss apparently believed his team would land Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook, in addition to re-signing Dwight Howard. He also probably though Jesus Christ himself would take a pay cut to play in Hollywood.
Only one of these things isn’t true, according to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding:
So Jim told people that Carmelo Anthony was coming the next summer. He told people that Howard was staying the previous year.
He told people as soon as the Lakers’ recent season was winding down that Kevin Durant was coming this summer…with Russell Westbrook the next.
In Buss’ defense, it doesn’t sound like he was predicting all of these signings in conjunction with one another. Maybe just Melo and Dwight, and then Durant and Westbrook.
In Buss’ further defense…yeah, I got nothing.
The Durant-Westbrook prediction is particularly bizarre. Like, why would two players who already play together leave their current team just to continue playing together somewhere else. It makes no sense.
Maybe this was the Lakers hubris talking. They, at one point, were so used to getting all the big names and haven’t adjusted well to the current state of affairs. Even this summer, they are expected to once again chase all the splashy acquisitions.
This offseason, in turn, will be like a referendum on Buss’ future with the team, and the Lakers’ continued clout. Either they still appeal to marquee talents, in which case Buss still has a leg on which to stand, or they get passed over by all the stars for a fourth straight summer, in which case Buss may be out of a job and the Lakers way as we know it will be forced to reset itself once and for all.