We're less than two months until the start of training camp which means were roughly a month since Dwight Howard told the Los Angeles Lakers he was leaving them to sign with the Houston Rockets. It was one of the rare times in which the Lakers didn't get their man. It was also the first time since Dr. Jerry Buss passed away that they didn't have one of the most influential people in all of sports directing the courting process when it came to a free agent the team was trying to sign.

Jeanie Buss the Lakers' executive vice president of business operations believes things would have gone differently with the Dwight Howard courtship and negotiations if Dr. Buss were still with us. She told ESPN Los Angeles that the Lakers lose the best closer in the business implying that the Lakers' way of convincing players to love LA isn't the same as it used to be.

"They would've probably had a better relationship if my dad hadn't been sick" Jeanie Buss said in a wide-ranging interview with hosts Mark Willard and Mychal Thompson on ESPNLA 710 Thursday morning. "When it came time to try to convince Dwight to stay we lost the best closer in the business in Dr. Buss.

"Putting up billboards 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."