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The Lakers have failed to make it through the first round since winning the NBA championship in the bubble during the coronavirus-hit 2019-20 season. He told al Los Angeles Times in an interview published on Tuesday she is dissatisfied with how things went.
“I’m only getting impatient because we had the fourth highest salary in the league … When you spend that kind of money on luxury tax, you expect to go deep into the playoffs,” Buss told the newspaper. “So, yes, it was heartbreaking for me to go out with a limb like that and not get the results we were looking for … I’m not happy, I’m not satisfied.”
Buss went so far as to say that she feels frustrated by fans with how the team has been and has vowed to “absolutely” make changes if the team doesn’t live up to her standards.
Los Angeles was eliminated in the first round of the 2020-21 NBA playoffs. The Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook in the off-season, but he failed to carry the team on their backs as injuries plagued most of the stars, which resulted in the team skipping postseason entirely. The Lakers then fired Frank Vogel after three seasons.
“Last year was extremely disappointing … it was extremely disappointing,” he told the LA Times. “I feel we have disappointed the Laker fans and we don’t want to do it again, and we have to do it right.”
Buss confirmed he was taking input on the team from James, Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson, but expressed support for general manager Rob Pelinka. But he made it clear that James Klutch Sports’ agency was not in charge of the team.
According to Bleacher report in April, the Lakers were internally blaming James, Davis and Rich Paul for pushing the team into the Westbrook exchange. Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 78 games. In the end he played more than James and Davis.
“Do they have the last word? No. Are they leading the team? No, no, not at all,” Buss said. “I am checking the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, I am held accountable for every decision made here.”
The next step for the Lakers is to figure out who their next manager will be.