Magic Johnson: Lakers Ownership Should Communicate Better With Kobe

Magic Johnson was critical of the Los Angeles Lakers’ ownership — who, um, still cut him checks — and said they need to do a better job of keeping an angry Kobe Bryant in the loop. From the Daily News: “It’s not Mitch’s situation anymore. He’s not running the team. Jim Buss is running the team,’ the former Lakers superstar said, referring to general manager Mitch Kupchak and team executive Jim Buss, the son of owner Jerry Buss. ‘Mitch has to follow the direction of Jim Buss and what he wants. I wouldn’t say Mitch is the problem. He’s going to do his job.’ Johnson said it was time for Jim Buss and Kobe Bryant to meet face to face and talk about the direction of the franchise because there appears to be a seismic shift since Phil Jackson retired as coach and Mike Brown was hired to replace him last May. ‘(Bryant) just wants to be informed as a team leader and a future Hall of Famer and a guy who has brought five championships to the Lakers,’ Johnson said. ‘He wants more communication, probably like he did when Phil Jackson was here and he worked well with Mitch. I don’t think Kobe feels he has that type of relationship … with Jim. What probably has to happen is they need to sit Kobe down and sit Jim down. Dr. Buss was the master at taking you to lunch or taking you to dinner and going over what he was thinking and what he wanted to do with the team. ‘Jerry West was good at that as well. Kobe, Mitch and Jim just have to get on the same page and things will be OK.’ When a reporter asked Bryant after the Lakers’ shootaround if it might be time he met with Buss to discuss the team’s evident change of direction, the face of the franchise said simply, ‘Um, perhaps.'”