Lakers Insider: How the Season Will Be Remembered, Robert Sacre’s Heart and More

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers took their team photo Thursday, potentially a formal moment of ownership in this historically bad season for Jim Buss, executive vice president of basketball operations.

Last season, the Lakers took the team photo with one empty seat, just a basketball placed on a chair, in memory of late Lakers owner Jerry Buss. The previous season in 2012, the first since Phil Jackson's exit as coach, Jerry Buss didn't feel well enough to attend—so son Jim represented ownership alone in that photo.

Jerry and Jim both were in the team photo the previous five years, a testament to how involved Jim was with his father in building those teams, three of which reached the NBA Finals.

This team photo, however, won't be looked back upon nearly as fondly by Buss. After their latest loss, to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, the Lakers are 22-45. He opted not to be in the photo, and his five siblings weren't in it either, leaving no ownership representation this year. It's probably just as well that it be a cleaner photo of only players and coaches, but no ownership after all the past photos is somewhat symbolic this time.

To avoid finishing with the worst record since the club moved to Los Angeles, the Lakers would need to go 9-6 the rest of the way. Even with three lighter opponents coming up next—Washington, Orlando and New York, all at Staples Center—it's almost unfathomable the Lakers could do that well.

The 1974-75 Lakers, led by Gail Goodrich—with Pat Riley and Stu Lantz as supporting players—went 30-52 for the current worst. (That didn't happen on Jerry Buss' watch; he bought the Lakers in 1979.) The 2004-05 Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant—with Caron Butler and Lamar Odom having come over in the Shaquille O'Neal trade—went 34-48.

But with Bryant injured almost all season, this is shaping up to be worse than ...

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