A magician’s greatness is measured by the number of times he can throw wool over his audience’s eyes without negative repercussion. The Los Angeles Lakers might not have Magic (Johnson) running the break anymore, but there’s an enchanting effect the Lakers front office has on the masses. Simply put, most times the information that spews out of Jim Buss’ office lately is false and disingenuous.
The Lakers have a reputation to protect. They’ve already soiled the part that states you can count on them to be annual title competitors. The last ingredient of their reputation that’s still in tact (and the part that’s keeping Lakers fans draped in purple and gold) is the hopes that the front office still has the aptitude to pull of blockbuster trades and acquisitions. That’s not the world the Lakers live in anymore.
Can you blame Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak for being so confused? Suddenly beach front property, the glam that comes with a Hollywood lifestyle, major market endorsements and the chance to play along side one of the game’s best players ever isn’t enough. It didn’t make Derek Fisher chomp at the bit, and after the Lakers have received public disinterest in players and personnel that were once considered a shoe-in, they’ve resulted to turning the tables and pointing fingers.
According to a report from Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers front office has dropped Fisher from their coaching search and will continue to consider more seasoned candidates such as Byron Scott, Mike Dunleavy, Kurt Rambis, Lionel Hollins and Alvin Gentry to name a few.
Usually when you smell bull excrement, there’s either a rodeo or circus nearby. The Lakers current state and ensuing effort to mask their failures has out of control circus written all over it.
It started when the “We want Phil” chants in Staples Center were extinguished. With little interest in coaching, and less interest in hopping on to a rebuilding project, Jackson took his talents to New York. Since then the Lakers haven’t been the usual talent landing strip they’ve always been.
A year ago it was an absolute certainty that Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony would wind up playing beside Kobe. Lately Melo’s list of favored destinations don’t include L.A. Kevin Love was rumored to be forcing his way off the Minnesota Timberwolves roster to get in a Lakers uniform. At the moment he’s rumored to a handful of teams, none of which are the Lakers. Don’t even get me started on the LeBron James to the Lakers rumors that are still being discussed.
And the story goes on – this time veteran guard Derek Fisher is the latest victim of the Lakers once-again trying to save face. After Knicks President (and former Lakers coach) Phil Jackson expressed interest in the soon to be 40-year-old guard gracing the sidelines of Madison Square Garden, the Lakers immediately tossed their hat in the ring.
Barely a week later, it’s been “reported” that the Lakers have dropped Fisher from their coaching search. Suspicious to say the least. It’s always best to be the one who delivers the rejection, and if things didn’t really work out that way – the next best scenario is to make it look like they did. While Derek Fisher isn’t proven on the sidelines and it’s impossible to gauge his talent for coaching, one thing is for sure; the Lakers pitched Fisher, and he rejected them – plain and simple.
It’s unclear as to whether Fisher prefers the New York Knicks coaching position over returning to the league next year as a player. Either way, for some reason he’s a hot commodity – perhaps because (Phil) Jackson created the market for his services. Even a false report from a franchise struggling to maintain its historic identity can’t lower his stock.