Skip to main content

Jeanie Buss Says She's Becoming Impatient Because The Lakers Had The Fourth-Highest Payroll In The League Without Making The Playoffs: "I'm Not Happy. I'm Not Satisfied."

Jeanie Buss Says She's Becoming Impatient Because The Lakers Had The Fourth-Highest Payroll In The League Without Making The Playoffs: "I'm Not Happy. I'm Not Satisfied."

The Los Angeles Lakers had a tumultuous 2021-22 campaign, with the team falling well short of expectations and failing to qualify for even the play-in tournament. The aftermath has already seen moves being made, with the team parting ways with Frank Vogel and a lot of speculation surrounding its stars. Russell Westbrook has been linked with trades and media members like Stephen A. Smith are even suggesting that LeBron James should be on the trading block

All the speculation ultimately counts for nothing, with the decisions coming down to the people in power. And while Rob Pelinka is the one charged with making the team competitive as soon as possible again, the power ultimately rests in the hands of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, who is the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to the franchise as the President of Basketball Operations. 

And Buss knows that things have to change, speaking in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, she acknowledged the frustrations she is going through thanks to the team underachieving this season. They are not lacking in star power either, with their big 3 all on hefty contracts, and Buss has identified that as being an issue considering that the team didn't even make the playoffs. 

“I’m growing impatient just because we had the fourth-highest payroll in the league. … When you spend that kind of money on the luxury tax, you expect to go deep into the playoffs,” she told The Times. “So, yeah, it was gut-wrenching for me to go out on a limb like that and not get the results that we were looking for. … I’m not happy, I’m not satisfied.”

The owner growing impatient is a warning sign for the stars as well as for Rob Pelinka, who is the Vice President Of Basketball Operations and all of them will be feeling the heat after this recent interview. Pelinka did, however, get a vote of confidence from Buss during the interview.

“In terms of basketball decisions, I have complete confidence in our front office, which is headed by Rob Pelinka,” she said. “He is a person that is extremely smart, extremely strategic, everything he does is thoughtful and with purpose. … I have complete confidence that he can put together a roster and find a coach that is going to get us back to where we belong.”

The Lakers are the NBA's biggest franchise in terms of global fandom and a history of success, so another season of not being in the postseason is not something that can be allowed to happen. What moves they go on to make this offseason remains to be seen.