Was Jeanie Buss talking about LeBron James in her ‘Kobe Bryant tweet?’
Since her mysterious tweet about the late legend, the speculation surrounding the franchise owner’s position on LeBron James has been intense.
The Lakers owner finally explained her recent tweet which mentioned the late NBA star and it would appear that the alleged in-house problems aren’t as bad as first thought.
Context is key where LeBron James and the Lakers are concerned
For some time now, questions have surrounded just how healthy the relationship between LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers is. Following a disastrous 2021-22 season in which they failed to even make the playoffs, there was a great deal of speculation as to what would happen. James for his part praised Lakers management during the All-Star weekend, but many were not convinced with reports suggesting that internally he was in fact being held responsible for the failed ‘Russell Westbrook experiment.’ As things stand, James is now only a year off of free agency and will not in fact be able to sign an extension until August 4th. As for whether or not he will do so, is anybody’s guess. On the other
hand, he continues to push for the acquisition of Nets star Kyrie Irving.
The situation was made even more tense when Buss herself tweeted a rather cryptic message earlier this month. “I miss KB,” Buss tweeted, in reference to team legend Kobe Bryant. “He would understand and explain everything that I’m not allowed to. Honestly, he was the greatest Laker ever. He understood team over self. Meaning your rewards would come if you valued team goals over your own then everything would fall into place. All can reply.” Though the post called no names, many interpreted it as a direct critique of James who was known to be pushing the Lakers to add to the roster.
What was Jeanie Buss’ explanation for the ‘Kobe tweet?’
With rumors and rants spread across the internet, it was only a matter of time before Buss responded to questions about just who she was implicating in her now infamous tweet. Yet, speaking in a recent interview Buss was quick to state that she was simply missing the late NBA legend.
“We’re getting ready to start promoting our 10-part docuseries on Hulu and we’re immersed in all things Lakers,” Buss said. “There are so many people I miss. But the person I miss the most is Kobe. We miss his voice, his friendship and everything that was taken away from us when we lost him. What I know is Laker fans feel the same way I do. So when I feel down like that, I know when I say something, the response that I get makes me feel not alone. That’s how a community comes together to grieve. This grieving process with losing Kobe will go on for the rest of my life. It’s a void that can never be filled and was never expected. When Phil [Jackson] left to go to the Knicks, the NBA made us sign a letter because we’re on two different teams. He said, ‘This means I can’t help you anymore. But you always have Kobe. Kobe has your back. Talk to him if you ever need advice. You’ll always have Kobe.’ That’s what Phil said to me. So, the idea that we don’t always have Kobe is hard to accept.”
Was LeBron James the target of Jeanie Buss’ tweet?
Interestingly, when she was asked directly if the tweet was connected to LeBron James, Buss was quick to deny the idea. “No. It was that my heart was full of sadness. You look to people surrounding you that feel the same way to commiserate. That’s all it was. It wasn’t intended at anything other than I had sorrow in my heart and I was trying to lighten my load.” It goes without saying, that the chances of Buss doing anything other than denying a reference to James were next to none. The fact remains, that both Buss and James will be working together for at the very least one more season, which is to say there would be little benefit gained in criticizing him publicly. On the other hand, when Buss was asked about James and his representation at Klutch Sports, her answer did little to lay speculation to rest.
“He’s the highest profile player in the game right now, and he’s on our team. We’re one of the highest profile teams in the league. That’s what people see because he draws so much attention. But I have relationships with all the players and all the agents. It just seems people want to focus on that relationship. He’s the most important voice on our team and our league.” A non-answer? Whatever the case, it seems safe to say that not everything is fine in LA at the moment. The true litmus test of course, will come in a little under a month when we’ll learn whether James will sign an extension. Until then, all we can do is watch and wait.