The RAMBII (Pincus: Kurt Rambis to help oversee Draft and Free Agency - pg.18)
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epak
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:48 am    Post subject:

LAL1947 wrote:
epak wrote:

OK cool. No worries.
Just thought you had some info on her cuz you seemed so adamant.

Well, I personally do not need more info. We have here a friend of the owner...

1) who has apparently never held or been groomed for a position on the b-ball operations side before, either at the Lakers or anywhere else...
2) who has not played the game professionally...
3) does not appear to have qualifications obtained through education (you can look at her LinkedIn page, there is not a single other qualification or previous experience listed)...
4) and is not one of the owner's children who the business was handed down to.

Keeping in mind these 4 bullet points, is there any other reason you can think of for her to involved in b-ball operations? No, right? The owner herself wants to stay out of the b-ball operations and wants to find competent people to manage it. So why is there even a question about Linda? She should not be meddling in the b-ball operations, period, and needs to stay in her lane (that should be our hope anyway). I don't think this is one of those instances where you need more info to have an opinion or take a stance.


I wonder how involved she is.
If she's a sole decision maker? Or if she's just giving her input?
I've read about the Ty Lue stuff, but hard to tell how involved she was. I'm sure when the Lakers finally hold a press conference, we'll get more info.
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:55 am    Post subject:

dont_be_a_wuss wrote:
Linda Rambis is a very good wife. She is supporting and believes in her man. In her mind, Kurt is 100% capable of doing the job, and being great at it. She believes in him, and she is advising Jeannie. Kurt is going to get a chance at this job, whether we know it or not.


We are not questioning whether she is a good wife.

This goes to the issue about whether she should be involved in the decision making for this franchise.

Who is the president of bb operation?

Seriously, I imagine that is why Jeannie did not want Jerry West because he would recommend certain people come in and Jeannie simply wanted to keep her friends around.

That is the huge difference between Jerry Buss and the children.

During the Jim Buss era, at least we had Mitch Kupchak who is now the President of BB operation of the Hornet.

Rambi are not qualified. Pelinka, there are too many questions mark. So far, I am not impressed.

Last year, they had Lebron and they filled up their roster with the wrong players and they did not resign Lopez or Randle.

Not very smart in hindsight.

This summer is going to be huge.
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LAL1947
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:00 am    Post subject:

epak wrote:
I wonder how involved she is.
If she's a sole decision maker? Or if she's just giving her input?
I've read about the Ty Lue stuff, but hard to tell how involved she was. I'm sure when the Lakers finally hold a press conference, we'll get more info.

That's the question we all want answered. Can't imagine Jeanie allowing Linda to be a sole decision maker... I mean, why would she and why would her siblings allow it?. It's more likely Linda is giving input and also meddling (where she shouldn't be)... but to what end? Is it to obtain more power/$$ for herself... perhaps, trying to set herself up as liaison between marketing and b-ball operations? Is it to obtain more power/$$ for Kurt? Is it something to do with Phil? Or is she just being a good friend/confidante, providing moral support to Jeanie as a temporary thing while Jeanie finds a FO that works out and who she can trust? Who really knows? All I know is I want her out of the b-ball operations, her name is starting to give me hives.


Last edited by LAL1947 on Mon May 13, 2019 1:05 am; edited 4 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:01 am    Post subject:

The rambii, shadow commissioners of the nba.

The rambii, shadow presidents of the United states.

The rambii, shadow rulers of the world

The rambii, shadow masters of the universe
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Seriously? Kurt Rambis has played and coached in the NBA since the 1980s, and now he is a guy who builds go-karts?
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wolfpaclaker
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 2:46 am    Post subject:

Well lets not act like they went out and hired more showtime friends. The biggest accusation on the current FO regime is that they have that tendency and bias to recreate the past and live in it. This was not the case here at all.

Vogel was among the same level as coach as Ty Lue/Monty, in fact one could argue that Vogel is more experienced and better. Ty Lue flamed out in CLE when they lost LBJ (0-6 start IIRC) and Monty wasn't able to take New Orleans where they wanted to go. I think the three of them are all about the same standing in the league. Monty has been an assistant for quite a few years now before he got a job again. Lue didn't have any offers outside of interest in LA. Vogel was in the same boat. Lets not act like the Lakers chose a guy who was a D League level coach. We clearly had a list, and chose from within the same class. I don't like the class of coach we went after. I certainly wish being 8 years removed from Phil, by now we would have had a great coach in place, but that's not the case.

Kidd being brought into the mix seems about Lonzo Ball/Ingram development. Also lets be honest here. Even if Kidd is being groomed to be the next Laker coach. It's not a bad thing they first brought him in this way. Why not let him learn and earn it. Develop the bonds and trust of young players, and then take over when those players are in their prime 2 years from now.

I would have been far more concerned about this if they wound up hiring Byron Scott or someone from the Triangle era (Shaw, Fisher etc). I don't think any coaching candidate was elite. I would have been more concerned had Rambis himself positioned himself to be associate head coach.

More interesting to me is what they do trades/capspace wise. If Rambis is really a big influence, that's where I have more concern. I hope if they believe in Vogel/Kidd, they also need to allow Vogel/Kidd to dictate the type of roster they will have around LBJ.

The reaction from reading from the majority of the posters is as if we hired Derek Fisher/Brian Shaw combo, with Byron as an assistant, and will run the Triangle. Seriously!

Finally - some are pissed that Phil advised the FO to go after Vogel after Ty Lue negotiations stalled. I think this isn't a bad thing. Phil isn't advising them on free agents. He knows good coaches from bad ones. His first choce as a head coach was Steve Kerr. He made a mistake in Fisher and corrected it fast. His other choice was Hornachek, who IMO, is a good coach. I don't think we hired a passionate smart dude in Vogel. We hired a guy that will command respect from the players in Kidd. Someone that can take Ball to another level possibly. I don't think this is some franchise crippling move or a step down from Luke/Shaw. In fact, I think Vogel/Kidd > Luke/Shaw. Key here is Vogel needs to update his sets and bring in an assistant who will help him do that.

What we do with the capspace is the most critical element moving forward. And yes, if Rambis is the top decision maker on that, I have major concern we may screw up.
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 6:38 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:

Finally - some are pissed that Phil advised the FO to go after Vogel after Ty Lue negotiations stalled. I think this isn't a bad thing. Phil isn't advising them on free agents. He knows good coaches from bad ones. His first choce as a head coach was Steve Kerr. He made a mistake in Fisher and corrected it fast. His other choice was Hornachek, who IMO, is a good coach.

Are you implying that Phil Jackson knows more about coaching than random fans on the internet? How dare you!

Seriously though - some of these same posters who worry about Phil consulting but don't worry about Jerry West as a consultant have me confused. Not because the Lakers wouldn't be lucky to get West back - we would. It's because both are at the top of their field, and both have earned the right to have their advice considered, even if it is ultimately rejected.
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JustaObserver
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 7:20 am    Post subject:

LuciusAllen wrote:
wolfpaclaker wrote:

Finally - some are pissed that Phil advised the FO to go after Vogel after Ty Lue negotiations stalled. I think this isn't a bad thing. Phil isn't advising them on free agents. He knows good coaches from bad ones. His first choce as a head coach was Steve Kerr. He made a mistake in Fisher and corrected it fast. His other choice was Hornachek, who IMO, is a good coach.

Are you implying that Phil Jackson knows more about coaching than random fans on the internet? How dare you!

Seriously though - some of these same posters who worry about Phil consulting but don't worry about Jerry West as a consultant have me confused. Not because the Lakers wouldn't be lucky to get West back - we would. It's because both are at the top of their field, and both have earned the right to have their advice considered, even if it is ultimately rejected.




Can’t agree with that....Phil was a coach not a good GM. West was a great player but key term “great GM” or builder of teams....

GM resumes
West resume: lakers/grizzlies/golden state/ clippers all reaching the playoffs and some getting rings
Phil resume:......Knicks....laughing stock 😂......besides pozgod
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LuciusAllen
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 8:57 am    Post subject:

JustaObserver wrote:
LuciusAllen wrote:
wolfpaclaker wrote:

Finally - some are pissed that Phil advised the FO to go after Vogel after Ty Lue negotiations stalled. I think this isn't a bad thing. Phil isn't advising them on free agents. He knows good coaches from bad ones. His first choce as a head coach was Steve Kerr. He made a mistake in Fisher and corrected it fast. His other choice was Hornachek, who IMO, is a good coach.

Are you implying that Phil Jackson knows more about coaching than random fans on the internet? How dare you!

Seriously though - some of these same posters who worry about Phil consulting but don't worry about Jerry West as a consultant have me confused. Not because the Lakers wouldn't be lucky to get West back - we would. It's because both are at the top of their field, and both have earned the right to have their advice considered, even if it is ultimately rejected.




Can’t agree with that....Phil was a coach not a good GM. West was a great player but key term “great GM” or builder of teams....

GM resumes
West resume: lakers/grizzlies/golden state/ clippers all reaching the playoffs and some getting rings
Phil resume:......Knicks....laughing stock 😂......besides pozgod

I understand and agree that he wasn't a good GM. But this is different. He's just giving advice. No reports of him being part of the interview process. Just a simple question: "Hey Phil, is this coach or that coach any good?"

He knows what it takes to be a good coach, to get players to buy in. He's an expert in that field. Experts in all professional fields are always consulted on matters like this.

They shouldn't let Phil come near the team when it comes to trading or signing players.
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:01 am    Post subject:

Phil hired crappy coaches with the knicks so I don’t think he is an expert in identifying good coaches. Phil is a great coach that is what he is. Not a gm or scout. Just a great coach. Rambis was great at nothing. Average player at best. Horrible coach, and as we see now a horrible pobo. Jeanie better get it together quick.
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:04 am    Post subject:

LakerLogic wrote:
venturalakersfan wrote:
Beir32 wrote:
venturalakersfan wrote:
As long as Phil is consulting and not making decisions, you tell Lebron to deal with it.


Honest question…at what point in his hall of fame coaching career has Phil Jackson proven that he can do anything else for a basketball organization other than coach it?


I don’t see where that matters. If he is just a voice in the room who isn’t making decisions, why ignore the knowledge he has? Having him consult doesn’t mean that you do what he says. I have been consulting for 3 decades, all I do is present ideas. They are either ignored or acted upon.


His ideas are outdated that's why.


It’s like trying to fit a triangle into a square (or a modern offense). 😝
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:05 am    Post subject:

New ESPN article:

Quote:
Who's running the show? Inside the Lakers' hierarchy

With the Los Angeles Lakers hiring Frank Vogel as head coach after being rejected by Monty Williams and Ty Lue, questions are swirling about the team's power structure.

Who is calling the shots? Who is gaining influence? How are these individuals affecting the Lakers since the sudden resignation of Magic Johnson as team president on April 9 and the split with head coach Luke Walton on April 12? Who was involved in negotiating the coaching candidacies of Williams -- since hired by the Suns -- and Lue and Vogel in the last month?

No one from the front office has conducted a news conference since the Lakers' season ended, making it difficult to be sure how the org chart looks these days. What's known is there are plenty of people who have a stake in the proceedings. Though everyone in this group ostensibly shares the goal of seeing the Lakers return to prominence, there are varied personal motivations involved in getting there. Family pride. Legacy building. Respect. Money. Notoriety. All of it.

Perhaps the only clarity is who's at the top of the hierarchy.

The boss

Jeanie Buss | controlling owner

As Buss was ousting her older brother Jim -- who was executive vice president of basketball operations -- and general manager Mitch Kupchak in 2017, she received a text from Kobe Bryant encouraging her to see things through. "I sent her a meme from 'Game of Thrones' of Khaleesi riding on the ship, going to her homeland with the ships behind her," Bryant told ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "I said, 'Sometimes the mother of dragons has just got to be the mother of dragons.' And Jeanie went full Khaleesi."

Bryant was referring to the queen character on the popular HBO drama who cut through a crowded field of competitors to make a legitimate run at ruling the land.

Buss' position atop the Lakers' hierarchy is unchallenged, if not unblemished.

Buss, 57, took over as the Lakers' governor after the death of her father, Dr. Jerry Buss, in 2013. She had previously filled a variety of positions in her dad's pro tennis and roller hockey businesses. Later, Jeanie Buss cut her teeth as an executive in charge of The Forum in Inglewood, California, and subsequently transitioned to the business operations side of the Lakers.

As the controlling owner, she had publicly stated her trust in Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka to make basketball decisions. Those decisions had the potential to run counter to her personal preferences. Johnson told Nichols he was prepared to make the decision of whether to fire Walton, and it was going to be tough for Buss because she loved Walton and Johnson. But Johnson didn't make his decision official before stepping down.

Walton and the Lakers parted ways shortly after Johnson's departure, and Buss was tasked with reshaping her team with two major roles vacated.

The inner circle

Linda Rambis | executive director, special projects

Don't let the title fool you: Rambis is Buss' longtime best friend and most trusted adviser. League sources have described her as a "shadow owner."

And though the buzz over Rambis gaining the most influence in the organization has intensified since Johnson stepped down, the fact is she has been Buss' consigliere for four decades. Rambis, who was then Linda Zafrani, was one of the first hires by Jerry Buss when he purchased the Lakers in 1979, according to an article in The Beach Reporter. He reportedly introduced her to Jeanie and the two became friends and eventually worked together on the tennis and volleyball initiatives at The Forum.

Jeanie Buss respects advice from senior basketball adviser Kurt Rambis -- Linda's husband and a former Laker -- as well as Johnson, Bryant and Phil Jackson. But it's Linda Rambis' opinion Buss has long valued the most, according to league and team sources. Many believe Buss has leaned on Rambis even more after Johnson blindsided the organization with his resignation.

Rob Pelinka | general manager

Pelinka has remained in his GM role since Johnson's departure and is the Lakers' highest-ranking basketball official.

With Johnson gone, Pelinka reports to Buss while communicating with Linda and Kurt Rambis. Sources around the league said those four operate as a group on basketball decisions.

The position of team president currently remains vacant.

Unless Buss hires someone to replace Johnson, Pelinka -- with Kurt Rambis involved -- is expected to oversee the draft and free agency. Sources said Pelinka and Rambis worked in tandem during the coaching interview process.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the influence of Rambis and Jackson weighed heavily in the hiring of Vogel and of Jason Kidd as an assistant coach.

On the night he stepped down, Johnson said he did not like "the backstabbing" and "the whispering" that was going on but would not elaborate. Johnson also was given opportunities to endorse Pelinka but said that it would be up to Buss to determine if Pelinka should remain as GM, offering that he and Pelinka had "worked well."

League sources said Buss and Linda Rambis trust Pelinka, who has been around the organization since his days as an agent representing Bryant, his longtime client and best friend.

However, some agents and executives around the league said they preferred to deal with others they felt more comfortable with, like Johnson, according to sources. Some longtime agents said they have gone directly to Buss, Linda Rambis or Joey or Jesse Buss when they need to talk.

Two other agents said Pelinka and the Lakers just have "a lot of haters" out there and that the agents do not have a problem with the GM.

Kurt Rambis | senior basketball adviser

Johnson hired Rambis, a former Lakers forward and assistant coach, to be an adviser to the president in September 2018. With Johnson gone, Rambis has emerged as a powerful voice in basketball operations and played a major role in the coaching search, as Wojnarowski reported.

Rambis has held positions with several organizations over his career, from assistant coach to head coach to assistant general manager, many of them served under Jackson with the Lakers and Knicks. His most recent job before rejoining the Lakers was as associate head coach of the Knicks from 2014-15 to 2017-18. Wojnarowski reported Jackson and Rambis strongly considered Vogel's candidacy in New York before hiring Jeff Hornacek in 2016. Vogel would later tell New York reporters that he was surprised the Knicks didn't hire him based on how his interview with Jackson went.

Rambis and Jackson remained good friends after each was fired by the Knicks.

The star factor

LeBron James | forward

James signed a four-year, $153 million deal with the Lakers in the summer of 2018, bringing with him four MVPs and three championships' worth of experience. Yet Year 1 as a Laker for James, who will turn 35 in December, could not have gone much worse as he got hurt, missed five weeks and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

James said he was "stunned" by Johnson's departure, saying on HBO's "The Shop" that he joined the Lakers after a conversation with Johnson and had no clue the resignation was coming.

James has a strong relationship with Kidd, multiple sources told ESPN, which may have helped Kidd's leverage in landing the job on the Lakers' bench.

James was taken aback by how the Lue negotiations broke down, a league source told ESPN, but James "liked" several Instagram posts touting the Vogel/Kidd hires over the weekend. It has been James' only public endorsement of the team's recent hires.

Known as the ambassador who ushered in an era of athlete empowerment, James has found ways to leverage his situations. He helped convince Kevin Love to request a trade to Cleveland that coincided with James' return to the Cavs in 2014. He also influenced the Cavs' hand into reshaping the roster at midseason in 2017-18 to salvage a stretch run, because, sources said, it was the only way Cleveland brass believed it could "get back Bron" due to the disconnected vibe he was projecting.

Rich Paul | president/founder of Klutch Sports, James' agent

Paul represents Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, among others, and learned the lay of the land with the Lakers when Caldwell-Pope signed a one-year deal in 2017-18. Caldwell-Pope returned for a second season and James joined L.A., but Paul's most notable move during the 2018-19 season went awry. Anthony Davis, also represented by Paul, requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, leading to a very public pursuit by the Lakers that damaged the chemistry and on-court results for both teams.

The team executives

Tim Harris | chief operating officer

After a professional soccer career playing goalkeeper, Harris -- like Jeanie Buss -- parlayed a gig with The Forum into a career on the business side with the Lakers that has spanned 30 years. He was included in the Lakers' traveling party that interviewed Williams in Philadelphia. Harris negotiated one of sports' largest regional TV deals, with Spectrum SportsNet in 2011, and helped secure partnerships with UCLA Health for the team's training facility and Wish as a jersey sponsor. He also serves as a Lakers alternate governor and has been a part of planning and executing the Lakers' free-agent pitch meetings in the past.

Joe McCormack | chief financial officer

McCormack was included in an emergency meeting Buss convened with trusted advisers in El Segundo the night that Johnson stepped down. McCormack has been involved in projects with the Lakers over the years ranging from locking up their 20-year local TV deal to installing solar panels at the new training facility.

The family ties

Joey Buss | co-owner/team president of the South Bay Lakers

Many fans first saw Joey, the second-youngest of the Buss children, when he filled in for his father during the Lakers' championship celebration in Orlando in 2009. Joey started with the title of coaching associate for the Lakers in the 2006-07 season and has worked his way up the ranks. Most recently, the Lakers' G League president engaged in one-on-one conversations with Williams and Lue during the interview process.

Jesse Buss | co-owner; director of scouting and assistant general manager

The youngest of the Buss siblings, his responsibilities in the organization focus primarily on the team's draft process. For all of L.A.'s struggles in recent seasons, the draft decisions have generally been considered sound. He was also part of the Lakers' interview process with Williams and Lue.

Ryan West | director of player personnel

The older of two sons of former Lakers general manager Jerry West, Ryan often finds himself on the road, scouting for the Lakers. Having started his NBA career in Memphis when his father was the GM for the Grizzlies, West has been with the Lakers since 2009 and now works closely with Jesse Buss.

The alumni

Phil Jackson | former Lakers head coach

The Zen Master proved that his influence remains strong with the Lakers, with whom he won five titles as head coach. He is also Jeanie Buss' ex-fiancé.

Jackson spends half the year at his Montana residence, but he remains close to Kurt Rambis and has been a regular visitor to the Lakers facility.

Kobe Bryant | former Laker

Bryant told Slam Magazine in March that he has no desire to be a GM or own a team or coach. Still, Bryant will always make time for Pelinka. The two talk often and share the same passion and outlook. And Bryant is always available to advise Buss, with whom he remains close. Bryant could have considerable influence over the Lakers' matters if he so chooses.

Magic Johnson | former Lakers team president and player

He may have left the building, but Johnson said he still talks to Buss regularly and wants to help the Lakers. "I'm still helping them," Johnson told TMZ in April, less than two weeks after he stepped down. "It's almost like I never left. I'm still talking to them every day. I'm going to help them get the Lakers back right. You can believe that."

"I love Jeanie," he added. "I've been talking to her almost every day. I'm trying to help. Listen, I may not be in there physically, but I'm still there." Despite his intentions, Johnson's departure shook the franchise and sent the Lakers into a chaotic start to the offseason.


Linda runs the team. She's even talking to agents.
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HermosaJoe
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:31 am    Post subject:

"Rambis, who was then Linda Zafrani, was one of the first hires by Jerry Buss when he purchased the Lakers in 1979, according to an article in The Beach Reporter."


So Dr Buss knew and hired Linda??? For WHAT did he hire her for? She has zero on her resume NOW, so it was zero WAY BACK THEN. She was 24 years old in 1979. I have my ideas...……..
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:08 pm    Post subject:

The more I hear about how involved these people are in decisions, the more I get angry at Jeanie. Incompetent owner who needs to go
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:09 pm    Post subject:

Ireland who is neighbors with Kurt Rambis said he spoke with him yesterday and Kurt told him that both he and Linda were good and happy, kind of inferring like none of this media backlash had any bad affect on them.
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:19 pm    Post subject:

I'm surprised Jim lasted as long as he did to tell you the truth. Jeanie has a lot of friends who wanted to be in Jim's shoes. Because you would think Linda and Kurt would know better, back-off and advise their "friend" to go get the best in the business. But no, they want this.
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justsomelakerfan
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:24 pm    Post subject:

The magic Johnson bit in that article is INSANE

“It’s almost like I never left”

WHY DID YOU LEAVE

What?!
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:33 pm    Post subject:

justsomelakerfan wrote:
The magic Johnson bit in that article is INSANE

“It’s almost like I never left”

WHY DID YOU LEAVE

What?!


He's probably doing the same amount of work, and not being present is normal, so that's why it seems to him he never left. LOL! The announcement was simply closure and for the media's need to categorize everything. And for Pelinka to stop feeling insecure about who's getting credit.
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24ways2die
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 12:41 pm    Post subject:

Lakers downfall will always be Jeanie listening to her friends and not hiring the qualified professionals
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RG73
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:05 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
Pelinka -- with Kurt Rambis involved -- is expected to oversee the draft and free agency.


I'm sure this will work out well. Nah, lets not listen to our scouting department who has done a pretty damn good job the last few years, Kurt knows how to draft....
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epak
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:13 pm    Post subject:

danzag wrote:


Linda runs the team. She's even talking to agents.


Sarcasm? Or being for real?
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:13 pm    Post subject:

RG73 wrote:
Quote:
Pelinka -- with Kurt Rambis involved -- is expected to oversee the draft and free agency.


I'm sure this will work out well. Nah, lets not listen to our scouting department who has done a pretty damn good job the last few years, Kurt knows how to draft....

I know what you're going for here, but come on - you know the difference between "oversee" and "do all the legwork." Rob (and Kurt I guess) will have a final say, but they'll almost certainly defer to their scouting team on which prospects to bring in, how they are generally ranked, etc.
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:14 pm    Post subject:

epak wrote:
danzag wrote:


Linda runs the team. She's even talking to agents.


Sarcasm? Or being for real?


It's been reported, so it might be real.
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:25 pm    Post subject:

Thanks for the post Danzag.
My favorite part:

Quote:
Two other agents said Pelinka and the Lakers just have "a lot of haters" out there and that the agents do not have a problem with the GM.


Bring it home Rob!
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:30 pm    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
New ESPN article:

Quote:
Who's running the show? Inside the Lakers' hierarchy

With the Los Angeles Lakers hiring Frank Vogel as head coach after being rejected by Monty Williams and Ty Lue, questions are swirling about the team's power structure.

Who is calling the shots? Who is gaining influence? How are these individuals affecting the Lakers since the sudden resignation of Magic Johnson as team president on April 9 and the split with head coach Luke Walton on April 12? Who was involved in negotiating the coaching candidacies of Williams -- since hired by the Suns -- and Lue and Vogel in the last month?

No one from the front office has conducted a news conference since the Lakers' season ended, making it difficult to be sure how the org chart looks these days. What's known is there are plenty of people who have a stake in the proceedings. Though everyone in this group ostensibly shares the goal of seeing the Lakers return to prominence, there are varied personal motivations involved in getting there. Family pride. Legacy building. Respect. Money. Notoriety. All of it.

Perhaps the only clarity is who's at the top of the hierarchy.

The boss

Jeanie Buss | controlling owner

As Buss was ousting her older brother Jim -- who was executive vice president of basketball operations -- and general manager Mitch Kupchak in 2017, she received a text from Kobe Bryant encouraging her to see things through. "I sent her a meme from 'Game of Thrones' of Khaleesi riding on the ship, going to her homeland with the ships behind her," Bryant told ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "I said, 'Sometimes the mother of dragons has just got to be the mother of dragons.' And Jeanie went full Khaleesi."

Bryant was referring to the queen character on the popular HBO drama who cut through a crowded field of competitors to make a legitimate run at ruling the land.

Buss' position atop the Lakers' hierarchy is unchallenged, if not unblemished.

Buss, 57, took over as the Lakers' governor after the death of her father, Dr. Jerry Buss, in 2013. She had previously filled a variety of positions in her dad's pro tennis and roller hockey businesses. Later, Jeanie Buss cut her teeth as an executive in charge of The Forum in Inglewood, California, and subsequently transitioned to the business operations side of the Lakers.

As the controlling owner, she had publicly stated her trust in Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka to make basketball decisions. Those decisions had the potential to run counter to her personal preferences. Johnson told Nichols he was prepared to make the decision of whether to fire Walton, and it was going to be tough for Buss because she loved Walton and Johnson. But Johnson didn't make his decision official before stepping down.

Walton and the Lakers parted ways shortly after Johnson's departure, and Buss was tasked with reshaping her team with two major roles vacated.

The inner circle

Linda Rambis | executive director, special projects

Don't let the title fool you: Rambis is Buss' longtime best friend and most trusted adviser. League sources have described her as a "shadow owner."

And though the buzz over Rambis gaining the most influence in the organization has intensified since Johnson stepped down, the fact is she has been Buss' consigliere for four decades. Rambis, who was then Linda Zafrani, was one of the first hires by Jerry Buss when he purchased the Lakers in 1979, according to an article in The Beach Reporter. He reportedly introduced her to Jeanie and the two became friends and eventually worked together on the tennis and volleyball initiatives at The Forum.

Jeanie Buss respects advice from senior basketball adviser Kurt Rambis -- Linda's husband and a former Laker -- as well as Johnson, Bryant and Phil Jackson. But it's Linda Rambis' opinion Buss has long valued the most, according to league and team sources. Many believe Buss has leaned on Rambis even more after Johnson blindsided the organization with his resignation.

Rob Pelinka | general manager

Pelinka has remained in his GM role since Johnson's departure and is the Lakers' highest-ranking basketball official.

With Johnson gone, Pelinka reports to Buss while communicating with Linda and Kurt Rambis. Sources around the league said those four operate as a group on basketball decisions.

The position of team president currently remains vacant.

Unless Buss hires someone to replace Johnson, Pelinka -- with Kurt Rambis involved -- is expected to oversee the draft and free agency. Sources said Pelinka and Rambis worked in tandem during the coaching interview process.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the influence of Rambis and Jackson weighed heavily in the hiring of Vogel and of Jason Kidd as an assistant coach.

On the night he stepped down, Johnson said he did not like "the backstabbing" and "the whispering" that was going on but would not elaborate. Johnson also was given opportunities to endorse Pelinka but said that it would be up to Buss to determine if Pelinka should remain as GM, offering that he and Pelinka had "worked well."

League sources said Buss and Linda Rambis trust Pelinka, who has been around the organization since his days as an agent representing Bryant, his longtime client and best friend.

However, some agents and executives around the league said they preferred to deal with others they felt more comfortable with, like Johnson, according to sources. Some longtime agents said they have gone directly to Buss, Linda Rambis or Joey or Jesse Buss when they need to talk.

Two other agents said Pelinka and the Lakers just have "a lot of haters" out there and that the agents do not have a problem with the GM.

Kurt Rambis | senior basketball adviser

Johnson hired Rambis, a former Lakers forward and assistant coach, to be an adviser to the president in September 2018. With Johnson gone, Rambis has emerged as a powerful voice in basketball operations and played a major role in the coaching search, as Wojnarowski reported.

Rambis has held positions with several organizations over his career, from assistant coach to head coach to assistant general manager, many of them served under Jackson with the Lakers and Knicks. His most recent job before rejoining the Lakers was as associate head coach of the Knicks from 2014-15 to 2017-18. Wojnarowski reported Jackson and Rambis strongly considered Vogel's candidacy in New York before hiring Jeff Hornacek in 2016. Vogel would later tell New York reporters that he was surprised the Knicks didn't hire him based on how his interview with Jackson went.

Rambis and Jackson remained good friends after each was fired by the Knicks.

The star factor

LeBron James | forward

James signed a four-year, $153 million deal with the Lakers in the summer of 2018, bringing with him four MVPs and three championships' worth of experience. Yet Year 1 as a Laker for James, who will turn 35 in December, could not have gone much worse as he got hurt, missed five weeks and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

James said he was "stunned" by Johnson's departure, saying on HBO's "The Shop" that he joined the Lakers after a conversation with Johnson and had no clue the resignation was coming.

James has a strong relationship with Kidd, multiple sources told ESPN, which may have helped Kidd's leverage in landing the job on the Lakers' bench.

James was taken aback by how the Lue negotiations broke down, a league source told ESPN, but James "liked" several Instagram posts touting the Vogel/Kidd hires over the weekend. It has been James' only public endorsement of the team's recent hires.

Known as the ambassador who ushered in an era of athlete empowerment, James has found ways to leverage his situations. He helped convince Kevin Love to request a trade to Cleveland that coincided with James' return to the Cavs in 2014. He also influenced the Cavs' hand into reshaping the roster at midseason in 2017-18 to salvage a stretch run, because, sources said, it was the only way Cleveland brass believed it could "get back Bron" due to the disconnected vibe he was projecting.

Rich Paul | president/founder of Klutch Sports, James' agent

Paul represents Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, among others, and learned the lay of the land with the Lakers when Caldwell-Pope signed a one-year deal in 2017-18. Caldwell-Pope returned for a second season and James joined L.A., but Paul's most notable move during the 2018-19 season went awry. Anthony Davis, also represented by Paul, requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, leading to a very public pursuit by the Lakers that damaged the chemistry and on-court results for both teams.

The team executives

Tim Harris | chief operating officer

After a professional soccer career playing goalkeeper, Harris -- like Jeanie Buss -- parlayed a gig with The Forum into a career on the business side with the Lakers that has spanned 30 years. He was included in the Lakers' traveling party that interviewed Williams in Philadelphia. Harris negotiated one of sports' largest regional TV deals, with Spectrum SportsNet in 2011, and helped secure partnerships with UCLA Health for the team's training facility and Wish as a jersey sponsor. He also serves as a Lakers alternate governor and has been a part of planning and executing the Lakers' free-agent pitch meetings in the past.

Joe McCormack | chief financial officer

McCormack was included in an emergency meeting Buss convened with trusted advisers in El Segundo the night that Johnson stepped down. McCormack has been involved in projects with the Lakers over the years ranging from locking up their 20-year local TV deal to installing solar panels at the new training facility.

The family ties

Joey Buss | co-owner/team president of the South Bay Lakers

Many fans first saw Joey, the second-youngest of the Buss children, when he filled in for his father during the Lakers' championship celebration in Orlando in 2009. Joey started with the title of coaching associate for the Lakers in the 2006-07 season and has worked his way up the ranks. Most recently, the Lakers' G League president engaged in one-on-one conversations with Williams and Lue during the interview process.

Jesse Buss | co-owner; director of scouting and assistant general manager

The youngest of the Buss siblings, his responsibilities in the organization focus primarily on the team's draft process. For all of L.A.'s struggles in recent seasons, the draft decisions have generally been considered sound. He was also part of the Lakers' interview process with Williams and Lue.

Ryan West | director of player personnel

The older of two sons of former Lakers general manager Jerry West, Ryan often finds himself on the road, scouting for the Lakers. Having started his NBA career in Memphis when his father was the GM for the Grizzlies, West has been with the Lakers since 2009 and now works closely with Jesse Buss.

The alumni

Phil Jackson | former Lakers head coach

The Zen Master proved that his influence remains strong with the Lakers, with whom he won five titles as head coach. He is also Jeanie Buss' ex-fiancé.

Jackson spends half the year at his Montana residence, but he remains close to Kurt Rambis and has been a regular visitor to the Lakers facility.

Kobe Bryant | former Laker

Bryant told Slam Magazine in March that he has no desire to be a GM or own a team or coach. Still, Bryant will always make time for Pelinka. The two talk often and share the same passion and outlook. And Bryant is always available to advise Buss, with whom he remains close. Bryant could have considerable influence over the Lakers' matters if he so chooses.

Magic Johnson | former Lakers team president and player

He may have left the building, but Johnson said he still talks to Buss regularly and wants to help the Lakers. "I'm still helping them," Johnson told TMZ in April, less than two weeks after he stepped down. "It's almost like I never left. I'm still talking to them every day. I'm going to help them get the Lakers back right. You can believe that."

"I love Jeanie," he added. "I've been talking to her almost every day. I'm trying to help. Listen, I may not be in there physically, but I'm still there." Despite his intentions, Johnson's departure shook the franchise and sent the Lakers into a chaotic start to the offseason.


Linda runs the team. She's even talking to agents.




This is a lot of words for McMenamin to write to basically come to the conclusion of "I don't have any clue."
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 4:27 pm    Post subject:

LuciusAllen wrote:
RG73 wrote:
Quote:
Pelinka -- with Kurt Rambis involved -- is expected to oversee the draft and free agency.


I'm sure this will work out well. Nah, lets not listen to our scouting department who has done a pretty damn good job the last few years, Kurt knows how to draft....

I know what you're going for here, but come on - you know the difference between "oversee" and "do all the legwork." Rob (and Kurt I guess) will have a final say, but they'll almost certainly defer to their scouting team on which prospects to bring in, how they are generally ranked, etc.


Magic overruled the scouting department, so why wouldn't Kurt or Rob?
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