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Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Addresses Team's League-High Payroll
Published November 23, 2009
|Buss Says Team Will Maintain Big Payroll
If It Is Necessary To Win
WHATEVER IT TAKES: Jerry Buss said, "If we could find a way to save some money and stay the level of competition we're at, obviously, we'd try to do that. In this [particular] case, we feel the dollars were well spent. Nobody likes this. I'd rather take the $30[M] or $40[M] and put it in my pocket. Just look at my (frayed) jeans. You think I don't have a big payroll. If it's necessary, we're going to do it." Buss: "Like all gamblers, we feel like we're on a run." Jim Buss said that he "would not hesitate to add to the team's payroll before next season if that's what it takes to keep the Lakers ahead of the pack." He added, "If we win again, I'll look to raise the bar that much more. I'm not one who sits pat on a win. You kind of want to improve because that's what all the other teams are doing, which is basically improving to beat you" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 11/23). Lakers C Andrew Bynum said of Jerry Buss' spending, "As long as we keep winning, I think he'll keep doing it." The Mavericks "have the second-largest payroll, about $4[M] below the Lakers" (L.A. TIMES, 11/21).
LABOR THOUGHTS: Jerry Buss said that he is "hopeful that things will get resolved" in negotiations for a new CBA between the NBA and NBPA. Buss: "Obviously the intent is to avoid any kind of conflict, somehow to get everybody happy. But at the end of every (collective bargaining) contract, it's been kind of difficult to get the next one signed" (L.A. TIMES, 11/23).