first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersPelinka has faced both external and internal criticism, with Johnson accusing him of “backstabbing” last month when he was an executive. But Buss insisted that she’s never lost faith in him.“I’ve always had confidence in Rob,” she said. “Whatever the speculation is out there, we don’t need outside media to validate the things that we do. I’m very happy. I think we’re on the right path. There’s some more work to do.”Buss also responded to reports that Linda and Kurt Rambis have outsized influence in the Lakers’ power structure, saying that “nothing’s changed” with her relationship with Linda Rambis in the last 30 years.“For whatever reason, that’s the thing people want to hear about,” she said. “They’re part of our team, and they do a fantastic job.”Buss couldn’t comment on the trade, which can’t be officially completed until July 6. But she made reference to it as a reason for Lakers fans to believe better days are ahead. CALDWELL-POPE REACTS TO A.D. TRADEDonning a bright white suit at the NBA Awards red carpet, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s eyes bulged and his smile widened when asked about the Lakers’ pending trade for Anthony Davis.“Well, they’ve been trying to get him,” he said. “They finally got him. It was a big move. I think they’re gonna do big things.”Related Articles SANTA MONICA — Since a disappointing Lakers season ended in stunning fashion with Magic Johnson’s resignation, one voice has been conspicuously absent from the public: Jeanie Buss.The Lakers owner finally broke her silence after more than two months since the season ended, confidently backing General Manager Rob Pelinka and promising brighter days ahead in an interview captured by ESPN. The overriding theme was one asking for a chance to prove what Buss sees herself: That the organization is headed in the right direction.“Lakers fans, be patient,” she said. “We’re gonna get there. We’re not gonna stop until we’re all proud.”Buss said Johnson’s departure caught her off guard, and she needed time to “figure out what the process was going to be.” That has taken shape without an official replacement for Johnson as team president – Pelinka now presides over all basketball decisions, including the Anthony Davis trade earlier this month. “I think there’s a lot of changes that have happened with the Lakers, but all with the goal of getting back into the playoffs,” she said. “Hopefully things happen from there.” The 26-year-old guard once found himself in the middle of the rumors that dogged the Lakers during the February trade deadline. Approaching free agency next week, Caldwell-Pope was able to take a more distant view of the blockbuster trade that has shaken up the future of the franchise, but he still admitted it was jarring.He felt for the departing Lakers: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. He said he reached out to all three of them since the trade news broke just over a week ago. Having changed teams himself early in his career, he can relate.“My thing was, ‘Just look at it as another opportunity – new opportunity, new family, and make the best of it,’” he said. “‘Don’t let it get you down because it’s just a part of the business.’”Caldwell-Pope, who averaged 11.4 points last season for the Lakers, is entering free agency for the third time after signing a one-year contract last summer. When asked if returning to the Lakers is an option, he was non-committal: “Who knows? I’ll weigh my options.”In the meantime, Caldwell-Pope said he’s enjoyed having more time with his family. He’s spent much of the offseason working out, with a handful of days at the Lakers’ facility.“Just be positive throughout, not really think about free agency,” he said. “Just get better at my craft.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img