the defending NBA champion watched as the East Coast super team replenished its squad with former All-Stars, Los Angeles Lakers general manager and president Jeanie Buss watched what the Brooklyn Nets did in easy fashion: Come on.
It brings out the best in us, the chief said Monday on ESPN+’s Stephen A World. If teams see us as the team to beat and want to compete with us, we have to work harder.
So come on.
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And in recent years the LA Clippers have stepped up to compete with the Lakers in the Staples Center hallway. Billionaire owner Steve Ballmer has brought the historic franchise a profile and a financial opportunity that seems to threaten it.
But the boss said she doesn’t see the Clippers and Ballmer that way.
I was Steve Ballmer’s lawyer. I met with him when he was considering making a bid for the team and encouraged him to buy the team, Boss said. The success of the league and the fact that we have people at the ownership level who are committed to doing the right things to succeed is very important to me. I’ve played for him and I’m glad to have him as a partner in this league.
The Lakers didn’t do any major deals, but did add a big piece to the buyout market by contracting center Andre Drummond
The addition of Andre Drummond, who we picked up in the acquisition market, will certainly add value to a season where we suffered injuries and IRVOCs, Boss said. Mark Gasol, our starting center, has been out for weeks with COVID and has a very poor case of limited minutes, although he is back in the lineup.
The Lakers (30-17) are fourth in the Western Conference and are dealing with a series of injuries that have sidelined stars LeBron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (calf). But even with the pressure from the top in the tough West, Buss said there is no rush to bring players back.
That’s what’s important, that they come back healthy – 100 percent – before they come back to stay healthy in the playoffs, Boss said.
While on-field health is a priority for the Lakers, Buss hopes the franchise can also accommodate fans in time for the playoffs.
We follow the rules and restrictions of Los Angeles County and will do what they tell us. We want our fans to be safe. That’s the important thing she said. But I am a little jealous that the L.A. Dodgers will have fans at their first game, and the difference is that they will be outside, and not inside like we are. I hope we have fans until the playoffs. That’s what’s really missing. I think it was a challenge for our players to stay motivated at home. I think we have a better record outdoors than at home. It’s hard to play without that feedback, without the energy that the fans bring.
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