Buss interview

Team owner Jerry Buss held his annual sit-down chat with Lakers beat writers tonight. He was joined by his son, Jim, and they stressed their desire to win championships outweighs their desire to make lots and lots of money. In a perfect world, they would make money and win. Anyway, here’s some of what they said when asked about the Lakers’ league-leading $91.4-million payroll:

Jim Buss: “I like our team. I think we improved with Artest. If we win again, I’ll look to raise the bar that much more. I’m not one that sits pat on a win. You kind of want to improve because that’s what all the other teams, that’s what they’re doing, which is baseically improving to beat you. You want to stay one step ahead. That’s basically how we run the team, by staying one step ahead of the competition. It’s well spent. We don’t like that, that it’s that high. If we happen to get some bargains, I think (Ron) Artest is a bargain. He (Jerry) yells at me every day for the payroll. No, as long as it’s well spent, he’s fine with it. Of course, it would be great to spend $60 million instead of $90 million and have the same team. But to maintain that team, it’s difficult.”

Jerry Buss: “I think (winning) has to be (paramount). If we could find a way to save some money and stay the level of competition we’re at, obviously, we’d try to do that. In this particularly case, we feel the dollars were well spent. Nobody likes this. I’d rather take the $30 or $40 million and put it in my pocket. Just look at my (worn and torn) jeans. You think I don’t have a big payroll. If it’s necessary, we’re going to do it. That’s just the way it is. We kind of stare at each other and gulp. That’s the way it is.”

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  • Rich K

    Jerry Buss is an owner who wants to win and will go the extra dollar to get the team that has a shot at winning. Of course we all know he makes up the money spent in other things. He is a winner year after year.