Jerry Buss, Jack Mckinney, Lakers discussed on Westward



Fans a marching band that they can hear. It's not just going to be piped in Oregon music. I'm going to give them personalities. Jerry buss would give fans even more. Laker games at the fabulous forum were equal parts Hollywood production, musical theater, and athletic competition. Jerry buss accomplished two incredible things, his first year as an owner. Number one, he won an NBA title, which is obviously an incredible feat in and of itself, but number two, he made the Lakers into LA's main attraction. He created a new synergy between sports and entertainment that thrust the NBA and its stars into the forefront of American culture. There is magic. 39, he's still perfect at the free throw line. He might be the favorite in LA for a few weeks. But he gets all dramatic of the world championship. They're going to have to widen the wall at the fabulous forum to handle another world championship banner. This showtime era is the precursor for what we now know as the NBA. Basketball players are celebrities not just as athletes. If you look at it at the time before magic came to LA and before bird came to Boston, asphalt players weren't celebrities. I grew up a kid in New York. I would never see the Denver Nuggets play basketball or the Atlanta Hawks. It just wasn't a thing. And showtime specifically comes along. And it just changes everything. One thing that hadn't changed was Paul west heads interim coaching status. Even after winning the championship his first year, Laker owner Jerry buss was torn as to whether he would keep west head. His problem was, Jack McKinney. The coach Paul westhead had stepped in for, had recovered from his accident, and bus didn't know what to do with it. To solve this problem, bus once again would turn to his old friend. Ira Goldberg. We had a coach. It was a problem. He liked to drink. So Carrie was having a problem at the time with his coach, got in an accident. And cherry wanted to get rid of him. The press was all over and how could you fire a guy when he was in a bicycle accident? I got to make this go away. Can you hire him? And said, absolutely. We've got a problem with team anyways. The pacers would then hire Jack McKinney, so the Jerry buss could hire Paul west head. Talk about a thankless situation. I mean, one of his closest friends in basketball, slams his head into the cement, going to play tennis with him. And then he takes over and basically, because of his success, his best friend, the previous coach, is no longer invited to coach a team. I mean, that's she experience times a thousand and heartbreaking. Because of the mitigating circumstances. Coach Paul wested was never able to fully celebrate either his success, nor his full-time status as the Laker coach. Because of an unfortunate accident suffered by Jack McKinney. He directs the Lakers to the world championship. But if I had to guess, I would say that both Jack McKinney and Paul west edge names will appear on the championship plaque. Yes, winning was terrific. It was one of the thrills of a coaching lifetime. But it was a mixed time in my life. If I was happy and sad, kind of back and forth. The back and forth will continue through Paul west head's second season, as both he and the Lakers would experience the hardships of defending their title along with the growing pains of a burgeoning dynasty. When you win a championship, whoever you play the next year, even if it's, you know, the team that's last in the league and you should win by 25 points. They have marked this game. They're gunning for you. This can make their season. If we can beat the Lakers, you know, we will have credibility. So every one of the 82 league games, it's the most important game for the opposition. It might not be for you. You know, you're in game 17 and you could care less kind of, but they care. The opponent. So that's a problem. But a bigger problem was that the Lakers would change it. Most notably within the power dynamic between its veteran star, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And the emerging supernova that was Magic Johnson. One thing that's really interesting is when magic came to the Lakers, he was extremely deferential to cream of bougie bar. It was cap this, have that. He's a legend. I'm a rookie, Kevin levon ball. But a year after deferring to the captain during his spectacular rookie year, Magic Johnson believed that the Lakers were his. You are listening to westward on the Dan Patrick podcast network. We'll be right back. I got stuck right in the middle of this scene. Kind of battle of who is number one. And I think I ran into some issues with that. I don't know necessarily with magic, but I think with the rest of the team. From my events, when I treated Kareem. As number one, there was no question. I couldn't take too much credit. I saw the Kareem was the man. I mean, if you wanted a basket, if you wanted somebody to win the game for you, it was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. However, as with magic's rookie year to a second year moving forward, magic takes over. I mean, that's pretty clear. While Kareem Abdul-Jabbar may have been seen as coach west heads number one. It was also clear to many that owner Jerry buss had his own number one. Magic and Jerry buss became buddies. And while that's great if your magic and great if you're busted, if you're another player, especially a star player, you start wondering if he's getting special treatment is just my imagination. Why is he always hanging out with the owner? And then we're in Magic Johnson gets this huge deal. You start saying, I've been here a lot longer than him. I have a lot more MVPs than this guy does. I'm the center I'm one of great players of all time. When magic signed his unheard at 25 year $25 million contract, which was would blow everybody's mind at that time in the early 80s, now would be like a one year deal. I think he never voiced any of this to me, but I think that Kareem was not pleased that management slash Jerry bus didn't treat him. With the same financial high regard that he did magic. So therein a separation or a rift began to take place. I don't think necessarily between Kareem and magic directly, but between how a Lakers were treating him the Lakers would take a step back in west head's second year. As the coach struggled to manage the teams changing dynamics. I was a rank amateur in how

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