Magic Johnson again criticizes Lakers, executive Jim Buss
Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson again ripped the Los Angeles Lakers management, specifically executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss, saying Buss is not doing his job to help the team try to get back to a championship level.
Johnson spent Tuesday on various ESPN platforms explaining what the Lakers need to do to at least be competitive.
"Jim is trying to do it himself and trying to prove to everybody that this was the right decision that my dad gave me the reins," Johnson said on ESPN's "First Take." "He's not consulting anybody that can help him achieve his goals and dreams to win an NBA championship."
Buss took over the basketball side of the franchise after his father, owner Jerry Buss died in 2013.
Last season, the team lost 55 games and missed the playoffs for only the sixth time in the franchise’s history.
Johnson, won won five NBA championships with the Lakers, says the Lakers can get back in the NBA elite if they sign a qualify free agent to pair with what is likely to be a high-draft pick.
“If this summer, that doesn't happen where they can sign a great player, it's over for us,” Johnson said.
Johnson told Newsday in December that he hopes the “Lakers lose every game,” in order to secure a high pick in this summer’s draft.
Johnson also had some advice for injured guard Kobe Bryant.
"And I really believe this: [Kobe] should ... say to Jim and them, 'Look, if you don't sign one of these free agents [this offseason], man, I'm just not going to play next year,'" Johnson said. Bryant is under contract for next season and scheduled to make $25 million.
The Lakers, losers of five straight games, have one game remaining before the All-Star Break and their 13-39 record this season is the second worst in the Western Conference.
- Scooby Axson