DENVER — LeBron James got kicked in the teeth when he suggested the way to improve the NBA’s bottom line might be to contract a few money-losing teams. Jeanie Buss, the Lakers’ executive vice president, the daughter of team owner Jerry Buss and the girlfriend of Coach Phil Jackson, told the Wall Street Journal it might be a good idea.
“I would hate to see us lose teams, but I think contraction is something we have to consider,” Buss said. “We may be in some markets we shouldn’t be in.”
Buss is serving this season on the league’s labor relations committee and has gained insight into the struggles of some teams, including the New Orleans Hornets. The NBA assumed ownership of the Hornets earlier this season, and there a possibility the team will re-locate. Additionally, the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players association runs out June 30 and there are fears of a protracted labor impasse.