Personally, I think Jim Buss gets more grief than he should. He's been one of the main decision makers on the personnel side for the Lakers for quite some time. He was the guy in the front office that pushed for Andrew Bynum to be picked, while others liked Sean May & Raymond Felton. Dr. Buss had been a pretty hands off owner for the last decade, for the most part. My understanding is that Jim Buss is the one who pushed for Mike Brown (Kupchak wanted Rick Adelman), but it was Dr. Buss who stepped in and ordered the firing of Brown and pushed for the hiring of Mike D'Antoni over Phil Jackson. Both Jim Buss and Kupchak apparently agreed with him.
Remember, Dr. Buss' greatest contribution to basketball was his ability to make it a must-see entertainment event, which was best personified by the Showtime Era Lakers of the 80's. Is it any wonder that Buss...a dying man...thought that Mike D'Antoni could replicate this with Nash/Kobe/Dwight/Pau? It didn't work out...not in the least bit...but I totally get what he was going for.
Jim Buss has become the scapegoat when anything goes wrong, and Mitch Kupchak is the guy who gets praised when anything goes right, but it's a lot more complicated than that. Jim Buss has been in this role for a long time. The only difference is that he's the face of the franchise now, from a front office perspective. By no means is he beyond criticism, but he's not the grease fire that people make him out to be either.
[ Edited by LA9erFan on Jul 9, 2013 at 12:58 PM ]