Jeanie Buss has the authority to run the team. However, from what I hear, most of then decisions are made by Linda Rambis, an employee who was hired by her late father, and who later married Kurt Rambis.
Kurt was an important member of some of the Lakers championship teams, and he was very popular with the local fans. He did not always play well, but he always gave his maximum effort, and he was one of the most popular Lakers.
Since his retirement as a player, he has had several coaching jobs, both as an assistant and as a head coach. He has been only moderately successful, and this apparently gives him plenty of time to consult with his wife as to how to run the Lakers.
Luke Walton had been hired to be the new Lakers jead coach. His prior experience was that he was the head coach of the Champion Golden State Warriors, for one year. Steve Kerr, their head coach had to take a year off due to an illness, and Walton stepped in. The team enjoyed great success, while he was coaching it, although in reality, they were so good that they probably did not pay any attention to him.
Anyway, with that success on his resume, he was offered the position as head coach of the Lakers. Walton may or may not ever be a great head coach, but he does have one endearing quality, everyone likes him. He seems like a genuinely nice person, who is kind to everyone. So, when things are not going well, most people want to give him a little extra slack.
LeBron James joined the Lakers after leading the mediocre Cleveland Cavaliers to an upset victory over the Boston Celtics. The team was coached by Tyronn Lue and they won Game 7, in Boston. It was nearly an unbelievable victory!
Then, there was good news for the Lakers, James signed a ﬁ ve-year contract to play for them. Local fans were ecstatic! In my opinion, the smart thing for them to have done would have been to also sign Tyronn Lue to be their new head coach. However, Walton is such a nice guy, and this would have seemed to be unnecessarily cruel.
So, the Lakers decided to roll with what they had, and they received the maximum effort from James. Regrettably, they did not have a successful season and some of the problems were caused by numerous injuries, including some to James. However, there was a great deal of frustration, and there was a general feeling among basketball experts and fans that Tyronn Lue could get better results with this team, so Luke Walton was ﬁred.
Then the six person search team did offer Coach Lue a contract to become the next Lakers head coach. At least, they went through the motions of doing so, since it was only for three years, rather than the customary ﬁve. In addition, they reportedly wanted to choose the assistant coaches. The customary coaching contract is for a ﬁve-year period and the jead coach selects his own assistants. This was an offer that they could expect to be refused, and it was.
This expert search team selected Frank Vogel to be the new head coach, and they also selected Jason Kidd to be his top assistant. I think that the probability of either of them, or both, lasting the full year is very low. If this is the reason that Magic left, then while it is disappointing, it is also understandable. Since LeBron James is also an astute businessman, I would not be shocked if he negotiated his way out of this contract with the Lakers, and moved on to another team, possibly the Clippers.
[John Randolph Rogers/Sports Editor, Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Journal News Email: Jorrogers@aol.com]