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Jim Buss is proving doubters wrong with the Lakers

Plenty of fans have questioned whether Jerry Buss' kid could successfully run the Lakers. The fact is, he has made moves to improve the team this season.

March 29, 2012|T.J. Simers

I asked the Lakers to set up an email account to make it easier for you to pass on your apologies.

You really do need to say you're sorry, after all; you have to admit you've been quite the fool for piping up without knowing any better.

At the very least it would be the grown-up thing to do, wishing him well at: jim.buss@lakers.com.

And while I look for an appropriate place where the Jim Buss statue might stand at Staples Center, you might want to ponder how you could have been so wrong about somebody.

You never met him, may never have seen him, and yet most of you were certain he was a dunce.

Most of you couldn't get past the baseball cap glued to his head and the stringy long hair beneath it, as if looking clueless means you really are.

Admit it, you gave up on the Lakers early because of the baseball cap.

I did as well. I thought the Clippers would be better. I thought Jerry's kid was too quick to dump Lamar Odom, figuring he was just trying to save some of his inheritance money.

But now we all know the baseball cap is clairvoyant. How he knew, I don't know, but obviously he had Lamar pegged as an emotional gob of goo before anyone else.

My guess is he was the only one watching the Kardashians.

Or maybe he understood Odom would not be the same in-great-shape player he had been a year earlier after using the off-season to play for the U.S. national team.

Whatever, Jerry's kid got it right.

Maybe Odom doesn't curl into a ball if his name isn't mentioned in trade talks. But then how many of you would have been criticizing the baseball cap for failing to make any attempt to improve the team?

He thought he had Chris Paul, and still most of you folks were piling on. You thought he was just a good-for-nothing rich kid, and yet he had done everything he could to land Paul.

As Lakers fans became increasingly restless, there was no doubt in the minds of many that Pau Gasol was going to be traded. Or had to be traded.

But the baseball cap kept him.

He's really been the only guy in Andrew Bynum's corner from day one, and yet he did his job. He looked into a trade that might have brought Dwight Howard here.

But early on Howard let the Lakers know he had no interest in playing for a team where he wasn't the top player. Jerry's kid moved on while everyone else still guessed a deal might be made.

One columnist suggested trading both Gasol and Bynum for Howard, although Howard would not have come. And Jerry's kid is the one who has no idea what he's doing?

Of course, Jerry's kid has to hope Bynum stays healthy if he wants to remain smart. And he has to hope Bynum shows more maturity than he did when benched Tuesday night.

But all I know is he found a way to improve the team at point guard. That's what you wanted. As down as most of you were on Jerry's kid, you were even more so when it came to Derek Fisher and how he hurt the team.

You liked Fish, but you didn't like his shortcomings.

So Jerry's kid gets rid of Fisher and still some of you criticize him. Huh? You want the Lakers to make a trade to get better at point guard, he does, and he's still not right.

It's never easy to send someone packing who is as classy and prominent in team history as Fish, but that's the business of sports.

The Lakers are better off because of it, and isn't that the baseball cap's job — to make this a better team?

Ramon Sessions now appears to be a steal, an obvious upgrade.

The baseball cap unloads Luke Walton's contract, and who takes Luke Walton's contract? He also admits a mistake in signing Jason Kapono by quickly getting rid of him.

He does all this, really gives up nothing, and so why aren't you as quick to call him the NBA executive of the year as you were to label him a dunce?

Maybe it's still not a championship team, but ask yourself this: Is it better than the one that got blitzed by Dallas last season?

Many of you have suggested he was going to ruin the Lakers, but what has he done wrong so far?

When the season began, the Clippers on fire and the Lakers the walking dead, Jerry's kid went public here. He said the Lakers would post the best record in the NBA over the second half of the season.

It sounded outlandish, but they have already passed the Clippers. And they are looking at a number of winnable games down the stretch before the final tally is in.

If some of you want to criticize him for hiring Mike Brown, who am I to argue with Kobe Bryant?

Brown's a great guy, but I don't like the emphasis on defense. And I don't think it will play well in the entertainment capital if Brown doesn't give fans a reason to attend a parade.

But Jerry's kid says hiring Brown was a committee decision with his dad and GM Mitch Kupchak joining him. Whatever his part in the hiring, it remains a work in progress.

And like everything else, he might be proven correct.

But it doesn't appear the Lakers are in the hands of a complete loser, as so many of you have called Jim Buss the last few months.

And so you really do need to email him at jim.buss@lakers.com and let him know you are now behind him.

At the very least you now have his email address should the Lakers' bench go belly up and someone needs to be blamed.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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