Magic Johnson Strongly Critical of the Lakers Yet Again

Be it on Twitter, his TV appearances, or in media interviews, Magic Johnson can’t seem to contain his frustration with what the 9-12 Los Angeles Lakers are doing (or, not doing.) The Laker legend continues to trash their effort on both ends of the floor, while questioning the philosophies and approaches of the front-office and coaching staff. Per Fox Sports: “We have got to get back to playing solid defense,’ he said at the beginning of his smiling tirade about all things Lakers. ‘That will make our offense go. Kobe [Bryant] is not going to ever have trouble scoring. [Pau] Gasol — if we put him in the right position — won’t have trouble scoring. Dwight [Howard] can score. So, we can score. But we can’t outscore everybody. You have to play defense first. Then you have to go down to the offensive end and score. Our transition defense is terrible, and every team is running [over] the Lakers right now because they know they’re faster, quicker and more athletic than the Lakers. So, if it takes us to slow the game down, that’s what we should do. You know what we’re doing — we’re speeding it up, putting ourselves in a tougher position. When we’re taking [and missing] long 3-point shots, which gives the opposition an opportunity to fast break more. So, we have to figure out what’s a good shot and what’s a bad shot. Also, do we really want to run with everybody when we really don’t have runners? That’s the key.’ The struggling Lakers are just 9-12 on the season, tied with the Trail Blazers with the fourth-worst record in the Western Conference. ‘I love the Lakers so much and I die with every single game they lose. I’m frustrated because I love them so much. And I don’t like where we are. I watch the faces, and it’s almost like [the players] don’t know what they’re doing or how to do it. ‘ […] ‘(Jim Buss) has to rely on Mitch Kupchak’s basketball knowledge. Look, Dr. Jerry Buss let Jerry West make basketball decisions. West just said ‘Dr. Buss, here’s who I want to trade and these are the reasons that I want to trade him.’ Dr. Buss would tell him to go ahead and make the move if it was going to help our team. Jim wants to make the move and then tell Mitch to do it. No. (He) doesn’t have that kind of basketball expertise. You’ve got to let Mitch Kupchak make those decisions. That’s what made the Lakers so great. We had Jerry West — the greatest basketball executive of our time — making the basketball decisions. Look at Miami and what’s happening with the Heat. Why are they so great? Because Pat Riley is making basketball decisions. Now he’s the best basketball executive in the game today. And they all came from the Lakers.’ […] ‘The system is wrong for this team. And if it doesn’t change, (Mike D’Antoni) will be the wrong coach for this team. We don’t have runners — look at the roster. Things will change a little bit offensively — no question — with Steve [Nash] back and healthy. But that’s not going to help us … in terms of playing defense.'”