A new Lakers season is about to begin. Dwight Howard is gone, the team has no expectations and it’s a fresh start for everyone – even Mike D’Antoni. However, thanks to the release of Jeanie Buss‘ new book, the events of last November have been brought up once again.
In an excerpt of Jeanie’s updated book “Laker Girl” – which was published by the Los Angeles Times – Dr. Buss’ daughter reveals that she was “devastated” and “destroyed” by the hiring of D’Antoni:
[pullquote]The sequence of events — Phil almost coming back and then being told someone else was better for the job — practically destroyed me. 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.[/pullquote]
Understandably, this raw emotion shown by Jeanie caused an uproar from fans, many of whom are pro-Jeanie and anti-Jim. The Lakers were quick to respond, though, with statements from both Jim and Jeanie being released which downplayed the comments from the Zen Master’s fiancé:
[pullquote]“The words and sentiments in Jeanie’s new book reflect her feelings and frustrations nearly a year ago, and how she felt at that time,” Jim Buss said in a statement. “I understand that Jeanie felt that way, and why she felt that way. Since that time, we have discussed the situation, the circumstances that led to it, and our feelings about it. Both of us feel this has been resolved and have put this behind us.”
“Jim has been great in terms of understanding my feelings about this and in fostering an atmosphere that has led to better communication,” Jeanie Buss said in a statement. “We have regular meetings and talks and are both committed to creating the best working environment possible, as are my sister and brothers as well. We are focused only on what is best for the franchise and in making the Lakers championship contenders.”[/pullquote]
I personally feel that while the details provided by Jeanie are fascinating from a fan’s perspective, it also brings back a lot of strong emotions and public perceptions that the Lakers have worked hard to sweep under the rug. The Buss family are meant to be getting along fine now – and according to the statement by Jim and Jeanie, they are – but it just seems like a strange time to bring all this back up again. The Lakers are about to start a new season and D’Antoni is about to have his first training camp with the team. Furthermore, the Lakers are hoping to lure some of the game’s best free agents to Los Angeles next summer, and a feuding front office isn’t all that attractive.
Hopefully, though, the excerpts are taken slightly out of context and the statements released by the Buss’ are more accurate at this point in time.