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Jeanie Buss: Dad would have won over Howard

The SportsXchange

The daughter of the late Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss thinks Dwight Howard might still be with the team if her father were around.

Howard left the Lakers in July as a free agent after one season in LA to sign with the Houston Rockets.

The Lakers tried to convince the center to stay, even going as far as placing billboards around the city encouraging him to re-sign.

"They would've probably had a better relationship if my dad hadn't been sick," Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss told ESPNLA 710 on Thursday. "When it came time to try to convince Dwight to stay, we lost the best closer in the business in Dr. Buss.

"Putting up the billboard maybe wasn't the right thing. But we maybe have to learn to do things differently because Dr. Buss isn't here anymore. People said [of the billboards], 'Oh, that's not the Laker way.' Well, the Laker way isn't the same, because Dr. Buss isn't here."

Buss. whose father died in February, said she was close to Howard and disappointed that he departed.

"I've had a few people say, 'You guys are better off without him.' But do you know who those people are? People from other NBA teams because they don't want us to have that kind of talent," Buss told ESPNLA 710. "I myself believed that you always want to hold on to talent. I was disappointed that Dwight chose to leave. Certainly he was well within his rights, with free agency. I just don't agree with his decision."
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