Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wasn’t holding back when asked about the state of the Lakers.
“The more screwed up they are, the happier I am,” Cuban told told ESPN.
The Lakers are coming off an underwhelming 37-45 season that was filled with drama and uncertainty in April. Los Angeles dealt with injuries to much of its roster throughout the regular season and there was ongoing speculation about coach Luke Walton’s future. Magic Johnson abruptly stepped down as the team president, and then Los Angeles parted ways with Walton, who now leads the Kings.
“We all go through it. Every franchise goes through cycles, and when your down cycle hits you, it’s never fun,” he explained.
Cuban gave credit to Los Angeles owner Jeanie Buss for how she handled Johnson stepping down.
“I feel bad for Jeanie, personally, because she’s a great person,” Cuban said before adding, “I have no sympathy for the Lakers any more than they had sympathy for us.”
He also praised Buss for her ability to take over for her father, Jerry Buss, in the ownership role and manage the family dynamic in Los Angeles.
“Jeanie is smart,” Cuban said. “Not to speak for Jeanie, but the hardest thing for Jeanie has been that it’s family. And so there will be a time when my kids (take over), or not my kids, and I have to make a decision on how to integrate my family and who takes on what role, and that’s not going to be easy.
“Jeanie had to balance all that, and that’s a credit to her that she made her decisions. She stuck by them, and she made the tough calls. So, Jeanie gets all the credit in the world. And unless you’re there, it’s really hard to understand. How do you balance the personal issues of a family with what you want to do for an organization? That’s near impossible to make those decisions, and Jeanie had to deal with it, and she did the best she can, so she deserves a ton of credit.”
The Mavericks can relate to some of the Lakers’ struggles as Dallas hasn’t made it to the postseason in each of the past three seasons, while the Lakers have missed the playoffs for the last six. The Mavericks ended the 2019-19 regular season 14th in the Western Conference with a 33–49 record.