Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

Lakers President Jeanie Buss on Kobe Bryant's legacy, and how the storied franchise plans to bounce back

by Take Two

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Lakers President Jeanie Buss stops by KPCC to speak with Take Two co-host A. Martinez about the future of the franchise. Dorian Merina / KPCC

Coming off the worst season in Lakers history means lots of tough losses and heartache for fans used to success.

The silver lining?

It got them the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, which they used on dynamic point guard D'Angelo Russell.

And with Kobe Bryant heading in to what is expected to be his 20th and final season, the Lakers appear to be on the cusp of change

They have money to spend on free agents, but is the lure of the Laker brand as strong as it used to be?

Host A Martinez spoke with Lakers President Jeanie Buss.

Highlights from the interview:

Back when my dad bought the team in 1979, there were only 20 teams... Now there is 32... The rules have changed and we have to evolve as an organization so we can control our future and be the Lakers the fans have come to expect. 

What kind of a job is your brother Jim doing?

I think that's its been clear... For the Lakers to miss both playoffs in the last two years, it's tough to swallow. He needs the time to show people that he can turn the team around. 

Does he have total control?

I have empowered them to put everything out on the court. I have to give them the tools they need in order to have the resources they succeed. Now, getting the second draft pick and using it for a guard shows that we need a better direction.

Is there a deadline to turn this team around?

3 years, one has already passed in the plan 

How are women perceived in meetings with other men in board and owner meetings?

I've been in this business for over 25 years, and I'm pleased to see all the changes. Plus, there's been a lot of change in ownership, with a large number of younger owners [and] current owners don't have a "women don't belong in the clubhouse" mentality

What are your plans for Kobe this season?

What I've made clear is that Kobe Bryant is that he will be the only one to make the decision about when he wants to retire. However, we are going to be celebrating his 20th year with the Lakers

What happens if he wants to come back?

I'd hate to put that kind of pressure on anyone. I don't think any thing is off the table though.

Is it fair to be compared to your father?

When you're dad is literally the "greatest" owner (Guinness World Records), all I can do is be the best president I can be

Click on the blue player to hear the interview. 

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