Buss: 'I will make the hard decisions' needed to improve Lakers

Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / Getty

Los Angeles Lakers controlling owner and president Jeanie Buss vowed to make changes to improve the team after expressing disappointment with its 33-49 record and failure to reach the playoffs.

"If we are not living up to the Lakers standard, absolutely, I will look at everything. … I will make the hard decisions because that's what you have to do," Buss told the Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke.

Buss said she's "growing impatient" with the team's struggles despite spending the fourth-highest amount on contracts in the league. The Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook last offseason, making him their highest-paid player with a $44-million salary.

"When you spend that kind of money on the luxury tax, you expect to go deep into the playoffs," she said. "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."

She added, "We don't like to be missing the playoffs, I understand the fans' anger and frustration. I've got to make it better."

Injuries plagued the Lakers - LeBron James only appeared in 56 games, while Anthony Davis struggled with knee, wrist, and ankle ailments that restricted him to 40 games. The team utilized 39 different starting lineups, the second most in the league.

Los Angeles dismissed head coach Frank Vogel after the season and reportedly looked at Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin and Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham as potential replacements.

Buss said she has full confidence in vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka to improve the situation and gave strong endorsements to advisers Kurt and Linda Rambis. She's seeking advice from Lakers legends Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson.

The 60-year-old Buss also rebuffed claims that James and his sports agency, Klutch Sports, control the team, but she continues to solicit advice from the 19-year veteran.

"I am controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, I'm held accountable for every decision that's made here."

Buss: 'I will make the hard decisions' needed to improve Lakers
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