The Los Angeles Lakers are in a tough spot right now.
Coming off the back of the worst season in franchise history and now struggling to attract the top-tier of free agency talent, the team hierarchy are aware that something needs to change fast.
And, as you might expect with the outspoken Buss family, they aren't simply paying lip service when they talk of a radical turnaround - Jeanie Buss today putting the job of her brother, Jim, on the line if one specific target is not met within two years.
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Speaking on KPCC radio yesterday the Lakers president confirmed a policy that would see Jim lose his job as the team's president of basketball operations should the franchise fail to reach at least the Western Conference Finals by 2017.
"This is my job. I'm part-owner of the team, but I'm also the president. The Buss family is the majority owner but we have other partners as well who are also shareholders, and I have an obligation to them. Would I make those changes? Yes."
"My brother understands that we have to continue to strive for greatness, and I think he would be the first one to feel that he would need to step down if he can't get us to that point."
Stating that the Lakers are now one year into a three year plan to return to the top table of the NBA, Jeanie Buss made clear what the minimum expectations are moving forward.
"I asked my brother, how long until we're back into contention? And when I say 'contention,' that means past the second round, so either the Western Conference finals or the NBA Finals," She told the radio show.
"And he told me that it would take three years to rebuild it. So we've just finished Year 1 of that three-year [plan]. So we have two more years until he feels that we'll be back into going past the second round in the playoffs."
Reaching the latter stages of the NBA Playoffs might seem like a tall task to Lakers fans right now what with Kobe edging ever closer to retirement and the front office struggling to put together a talented ensemble around him.
Buss alluded to increased competition across the league as an explanation for the Lakers losing out on the likes of Greg Monroe and struggling to impress LaMarcus Aldridge and refused to suggest the Lakers had lost their allure.
There is no denying, though, that the franchise are in a Catch 22 situation right now. Better players will only arrive if the team is challenging at the right end of the NBA, but they won't be able to do that until their roster is improved.
Lakers fans: Are your team capable of reaching the Conference Finals in the next two seasons? Have your say in the comments below...
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