Mike Brown isn't the only big personnel news at Los Angeles Lakers headquarters on Wednesday: Dave McMenamin of ESPN L.A. reports that Ronnie Lester, the team's assistant general manager and someone whose been with the franchise for a quarter of a century, won't be retained beyond the end of June.
Lester played for the Lakers for two years in the 1980s, then became a scout. McMenamin cites him as the scout who brought Andrew Bynum into the fold ahead of the 2005 NBA Draft. He's spent the past 10 years as an assistant GM under Mitch Kupchak.
It's unclear exactly why he's on the way out; Jim Buss has apparently taken over operation of the franchise in some exclusivity as Phil Jackson moves into retirement. Lakers expert and author Roland Lazenby tweeted Wednesday that Buss is "determined ... to remove Phil's imprimatur and influence." McMenamin reports that along with Lester, a number of Lakers scouts, trainers and video analysts will be jettisonned. Reports of these dismissals made the rounds during the Lakers' season-ending series against the Dallas Mavericks.
Kupchak remains in place, but how long he is for the job is anybody's guess. This is unprecedented turnover for the NBA's glamor franchise, at least over the past few decades.