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Poor Dr. Buss

July 11, 2009

It's comforting to know that someone is worried about Jerry Buss. Here is a guy who owns the NBA champions, is a multimillionaire, and dates any starlet he wants, but Mike Bresnahan is wringing his hands in fear that Buss may wind up in the poor house if he pays Lamar Odom $10 million next year. Of course that would be $4 million less than what Odom got this year and Bresnahan forgets to mention that Buss made more than $6 million when the Lakers sold their two top draft picks a couple of weeks ago.

If you think losing Trevor Ariza hurt the team, just think of where the Lakers would have been without Odom when Andrew Bynum went down the past two years.

Feeling sorry for Jerry Buss? Now there is a job I'll leave for Bresnahan.

Ralph S. Brax

Lancaster

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I was stunned to read an apparent consensus that Mitch Kupchak is a great general manager.

Mitch must have a deal with the devil. Jerry Buss drafts Bynum, Mitch tries to trade him away, Minnesota rejects the deal, and then we credit Mitch for being patient and giving Bynum time to develop. The Grizzlies give away Pau Gasol before other teams can make better offers, and we credit Mitch for, what, not taking more time to consider whether Gasol really is worth Kwame Brown?

Shannon Brown gets thrown in with Adam Morrison so that the Bobcats can help Lakers fans forget Mitch's one major free-agent acquisition -- Vlad Radmanovic. Granted, Brian Cook and Mo Evans for Ariza was a great trade. But Mitch has decided Luke Walton and Sasha Vujacic are keepers and Ronny Turiaf and Trevor Ariza can walk. The real reference point for Ariza shouldn't be Artest's $5.5 million but Luke's six (!) years at more than $5 million.

Where are the genius moves in this history?

Alexi Patsaouras

Tarzana

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In his July 9 column, Bill Plaschke says, "Artest is the first vocal leader to join [Kobe] Bryant . . . since [Shaquille] O'Neal, and you know how that worked out." Yes, Bill, the Lakers won three consecutive championships. Plaschke has been hanging around Simers too much.

Chris Boyd

Redondo Beach

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