I was talking to some people about whether the Lakers should be hated like the Yankees should be hated. I say no. The Yankees are always competitive because they have the most money *by far*. Their payroll may end up being nearly double that of the second highest team in baseball. That's a ridiculous margin.
The Lakers are often competitive not because they have the most money, but because they have Jerry West. And there aren't a whole lot of people on earth who know more about basketball than Jerry West.
[As a sidenote, Jerry West may be the best front office guy in the NBA, but he better be careful, because Joe Dumars is looking like a pretty good judge of talent himself...]