Los Angeles Lakers fans may not know who Alex McKechnie is, but they are going to miss him not that he is gone.
McKechnie, the man responsible for rebuilding Shaquille O’Neal’s body in the early 2000s with his innovation in analyzing core strength, has been let go by the Lakers. In an effort to make cost-cutting moves with a lengthy lockout in the future, the Lakers have decided not to renew nearly 20 expiring contracts for scouts, staffers and trainers like McKechnie.
McKechnie has privately trained many of the sports world’s biggest names in his free time, but his seasonal job was working with Kobe Bryant and all of the other Lakers that have played for the team over the last decade. He has decided to take a job with the Toronto Raptors, but his future employment—like so many others—could be in jeopardy as a result of the lockout.
Lakers owner are Jerry Buss made his fortune in real-estate transactions, so he knows where he can spare. And some may think that the millionaire is being greedy by not renewing the contracts of a handful of long-time employees (Lakers video coordinators Chris “Bo” Bodaken and Patrick O’Keefe also failed to have their contracts renewed). But if Buss’ annual take is $10 million—keep in mind that he only owns a percentage of the Lakers—then wouldn’t be a smart business move to save $3 million in expenses while there is no revenue that is going to be generated?
And that’s not to say that McKechnie, Bodaken and O’Keefe won’t be asked to return once the lockout is lifted.
But the NBA is a business, even when there is no basketball taking place on the court.