A Letter To Jim Buss

May 25, 2013

Dear Jimmy,

You are a very intelligent man.  Far more intelligent than most people give you credit for. However, you are also a man with incredible pride, which is getting in the way of your greatness.

You deserve credit for trading for Chris Paul, and saving the Lakers $20 million in the process, before NBA Dictator David Stern vetoed it.  You also deserve credit for drafting Andrew Bynum, who did help the Lakers beat the Celtics in the 2008 Finals, and eventually helped you acquire Dwight Howard.

You’ve learned from arguably the most successful owner in the history of sports, which I admit is a tough act to follow, now that you are the owner of the Lakers.  I have no doubt that you are very motivated to both honor your father by continuing his legacy, as well as prove your own ability as a basketball executive.  The only way to do that is by winning, and the best way to do that is to bring back one of the greatest basketball minds ever to your organization next season: Phil Jackson.

At this point, you are well aware of the fact that your future brother in law is a much better coach for this current Laker team than Mike D’Antoni.  The players all told you that, and you saw it with your own two eyes this season.  You are also smarter than all those people who think that Phil will never actually coach again, and know that he would gladly coach your team if you put your pride aside, and asked him to coach your team for just next season.  Your current team has a window of exactly one year left, they were tailor made for Phil, and he might even help you win a title next year in place of D’Antoni.

I realize Phil can get on your nerves sometimes Jimmy.  His ego is massive, but what NBA great’s ego isn’t?  His triangle offense seems boring, but it’s also won your last 5 championships while your delusional competitors are convinced “it’s a point guard driven league”, and have yet to win anything.   Nobody really knows if it’s actually sage or marijuana he’s burning in the locker room either, but didn’t you smoke a little weed with your race track buddies a few years ago?

Kobe and Shaq showed you years ago that everyone in the organization doesn’t have to get along to be wildly successful.  Phil has no desire to be a GM like Mitch either, and you could easily grant him his consulting role in the front office after next year.  You, your dad, and Mitch always used to go down to California Pizza Kitchen, and put your heads together whenever a big decision had to be made.  That third chair at CPK is now open, so why not put Phil in that chair and hear what he has to say?  The final say will still rest with you.

You know deep down that Dwight Howard really wants this too, but he hasn’t forced this on you because he doesn’t want to be the bad guy.  But do you really want to wait until July 1st to see him sign with the Rockets to show you how unhappy he really was with D’Antoni?  You know that bringing back Phil will insure the future face of your franchise will re-sign.

So here I am Jimmy, speaking on behalf of all Laker fans.  Put your pride aside, and do what’s best for your franchise.  Bring back Phil Jackson to the organization next year, and you’ll make your family proud, and you’ll be a hero among Laker fans.  More importantly, you’ll honor your father’s legacy in the best way possible: by continuing the Laker tradition of winning.


Omar Shaban

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