Magic Johnson might have sold his share of the Lakers franchise a little over three years ago, but he still likes to share his opinion when it comes to his old team.
According to Mike James of the LA Times, during a meeting with Dodgers officials and media members, Johnson gave his two cents:
“This is what happens when you make the wrong decisions, two coaching wrong decisions, giving Steve Nash that deal, it’s backfired,”
“The biggest problem they’re going to have right now…you’ve got to get a guy like Jerry West to be the face of the team…you’ve got to have someone helping Jim. He’s got to quit trying to prove a point to everybody that he can do it on his own, get his ego out of it, and just say, ‘Let me get someone beside me to help achieve the goals I want.’ Dr. Buss was smart, he said, ‘I’m going to get the best dude, Jerry West, and he helped me achieve my goals. Then I went and got the best coach [Phil Jackson].’ He wanted to work with the best.”
Jerry West is currently a consultant for the Golden State Warriors, but Lakers fans may be asking themselves, ‘what about Jim’s General Manager, Mitch Kupchak?’
“Mitch is great,” Johnson said, “but he doesn’t have the power…you need to get someone like Jerry to be the face, so agents are comfortable, players are comfortable, knowing the Lakers are going for a championship…look what Pat Riley did in Miami…if Pat Riley’s not there, you don’t get LeBron to buy in.”
Johnson also lamented the idea that free agents haven’t been pining to come to the Lakers like they used to.
“Everybody’s telling me free agents don’t want to sign [with the Lakers]…they’re looking at the Lakers now as a team that’s dysfunctional; who’s their leader, who’s the guy?”
Johnson brings up a very good point. The Lakers used to bring in talent easily because they had the resources to attract the star power. What Magic fails to realize is that there is a new CBA in place and things just aren’t the same as they used to be. Especially not for the Purple and Gold.
Johnson also seems to be back tracking from his thoughts of Jim Buss after the Lakers landed Nash and Dwight Howard last summer.
“I love it. Jim, you look like your father; I’m proud of you. He’s definitely the guy now to win the NBA executive-of-the-year award.”