Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com conducted an extensive, two–part Q&A session with Lakers executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss, in which Buss discussed a number of Lakers-related topics. Here are a few highlights from the interview, which is a must-read for Lakers fans:
- Andrew Bynum is "obviously going to be our center for a long time," says Buss. The young center will be eligible for unrestricted free agency after next season, and Buss says the Lakers aren't concerned with Bynum's injury history or any attitude issues.
- Buss and the Lakers have considered the direction of the franchise post-Kobe Bryant, but Buss isn't sure at this point whether Kobe will want to keep playing for another year or two (or more) when his current contract expires or whether he'll retire.
- Buss and Bryant "talk all the time now," and Buss says he has some regrets about not involving Kobe more in last year's coaching search.
- Making "prudent decisions on everything" will be crucial in keeping the Lakers headed in the right direction under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, says Buss. He also suggests being more aggressive in the draft will be a way to deal with the more punitive penalties on taxpaying teams.
- Here's Buss on how he, his father (Lakers owner Jerry Buss), and GM Mitch Kupchak make major decisions: "The three of us will have an opinion, we’ll argue our opinion and then eventually, it gets hashed out to where we’re all on board or one guy isn’t (and) two are and it doesn’t really matter which two or which one. Except for my dad. If it’s two against him, then we’ll probably lose that battle."