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Who’s feeling the most pressure in L.A. right now: Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka or Frank Vogel?
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Steve Aschburner: Process of elimination says Rob Pelinka. Frank Vogel has no pressure as coach. He’s into his annuity contract now, having already banked more cash than he ever imagined he’d earn in his working lifetime. And he’s a relative babe stepping into a forest of well-known dysfunction, with assistant coach Jason Kidd ready for his close-up as Vogel’s particular Big Bad Wolf. No one’s going to blame him for anything. Jeanie Buss is taking some hits now over pretty obvious mismanagement of personnel, if not business operations, but she owns the company. Pelinka has been outed by Magic Johnson, who remains an icon to Lakers fans, and Kobe Bryant’s reflected glory won’t save him from whatever goes wrong next. He has run out of cover and he’s on the clock.
Shaun Powell: Let’s break this down into a matter of who-is and who-should. Ron Pelinka is feeling most of the heat because Magic Johnson threw him on the griddle and Pelinka isn’t well regarded by a segment of the league’s GMs. But Jeanie Buss should be feeling heat because this is her creation — however, as the owner, she can turn invisible and leave Pelinka and Frank Vogel to deal with the fallout.
John Schuhmann: I don’t know if Jeanie Buss is feeling pressure, because the Lakers are still the Lakers making a ton of money, despite the six-year playoff drought. But success and failure in this league starts at the top and it appears that Buss hasn’t been able to recognize the need for a entirely new and more robust basketball operations structure led by an experienced executive that will empower the people around him. Now, because she hasn’t made the proper changes, it’s on Pelinka to upgrade the talent around LeBron James and Vogel to make the most of whatever talent he’s been given come September. Between those two, there’s currently more pressure on Pelinka, given the lack of shooting on the existing roster.