Jeanie Buss answers talks to the media about the Lakers at a Time Warner event to honor the late Jerry Buss in Los Angeles. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News
Almost 10 months have passed since the Lakers passed on Phil Jackson and chose Mike D’Antoni as instead to take over for Mike Brown as the team’s head coach.
There’s one significant person within the Lakers who remains unhappy about it.
The Lakers president revealed in her updated memoir, “Laker Girl,” co-written by former Los Angeles Times sportswriter Steve Springer, how the team’s front office handled the coaching search negatively affected her emotional well being.
“The sequence of events — Phil almost coming back and then being told someone else was better for the job — practically destroyed me,” Buss wrote, according to excerpts. “It almost took away my passion for this job and this game. It felt like I had been stabbed in the back. It was a betrayal. I was devastated.”
Despite the Lakers fielding plenty of uncertainty regarding health and age, a plurality of fans voted in a Los Angeles Newspaper Group poll that the Lakers will win the 2014 NBA championship. (Ezra O. Shaw /Allsport)
It appears that Lakers fans are in the second stage of grief.
First came the shock surrounding the Lakers’ 2012-13 season unraveling in every way imaginable. A star-studded lineup featuring Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace believed as a championship contender morphed into a team falling out of the first round, riddled by overlapping injuries, competing agendas and a swift coaching change. Now it appears Lakers fans are reaching denial. The Lakers field plenty of uncertainty ranging from health concerns surrounding Bryant (Achilles), Gasol (knees) and Nash (hamstring), departures to key defenders in Howard (free agency) and World Peace (amnesty provision) and a star-studded Western Conference (Oklahoma City, Clippers, San Antonio, Golden State, Houston). Yet, a 31.85 percent plurality in a recent Los Angeles Newspaper Group poll voted that the Lakers will win the 2014 NBA championship.