Jeanie Buss and the Lakers will get it together. At least that’s the expectation of NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
“I know Jeanie knows how to manage a team,” Silver said in a wide-ranging interview on ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday morning. “Sure, when things start to go wrong, a lot of fingers get pointed. But they’ll figure it out.”
Silver expressed the highest confidence that the alleged dysfunction in the Los Angeles franchise will be sorted out soon.
After missing the playoffs, team president Magic Johnson resigned abruptly and without consulting Buss because he felt stripped of the power to make meaningful decisions.
General manager Rob Pelinka then fired head coach Luke Walton — a move Johnson said he wanted to make early in the season but was vetoed — but efforts to lure top candidates Monty Williams and Tyronn Lue fell short.
ESPN reported Tuesday that LeBron James’ agent, Rich Paul, was working behind the scenes to influence the coaching change throughout the season and took his complaints directly to Silver. The same report said that Paul and Klutch Sports also scouted assistant coaches on the Lakers’ staff and picked out active players they hoped would be traded.
Paul denied that report on Tuesday.
Silver said Wednesday morning he bumped into Paul in a restaurant.
“He was in the same restaurant,” Silver said. “There were two people sitting there. He sat down for a second, and I think he said something along the lines that ‘Luke Walton is not the right guy to coach LeBron.’
“My reaction was to shrug my shoulders and maybe say, ‘Well, who do you think is the right guy to coach?’ And he mentioned a name and that was that. I think as commissioner, I don’t want to shut people off who have a point of view.”
–Field Level Media