The Los Angeles Lakers went through some drastic changes over the past year or so. Firstly, longtime superstar Kobe Bryant decided to retire after 20 seasons with the team last April. Secondly, team president Jeanie Buss shook up the front office by firing Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak to make way for Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka as their replacements.
The storied franchise with 16 banners hanging in the rafters at the STAPLES Center is heading in another direction with Johnson and Pelinka now tasked with trying to get this team back on track. The new regime, however, will not include Lakers legend Jerry West, who is reportedly interested in returning in some capacity, according to Mark Heisler of the OC Register:
"These days the Lakers don’t even do no-brainers, like inviting Jerry West back in a consultant’s role like the one he has with the Warriors. A Lakers insider told me it’s not happening … even though the Lakers are aware West would love to be asked back."
Since leaving the Lakers front office back in 2000, West had a stint with the Memphis Grizzlies as a general manager and is currently an executive board member of the Golden State Warriors. West had his fair share of success with the Grizzlies earning NBA Executive of the Year award in 2004 and building a perennial playoff team which now showcases Marc Gasol and Mike Conley as the faces of the franchise.
Rumors began to swirl earlier this year of West's interest in coming back to Los Angeles to be a part of the organization he had so much success with both on the floor and in the front office.
Although some may be critical of the Lakers brass reportedly not wanting to bring in West, Buss and company may be comfortable with Johnson and Pelinka running the show and at least trying to see what the new front office duo can accomplish in the years to come.