Johnson rips Buss for ‘two critical mistakes’
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
“My mother always taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” Hall of Famer and Lakers legend Magic Johnson tweeted Tuesday morning.
Apparently, that rule didn’t apply to Los Angeles Lakers owner Jim Buss, who has been heavily criticized for the Lakers’ decision to hire ring-less Mike D’Antoni instead of 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson as team’s new coach after firing Mike Brown last week.
Johnson sounded off on Wednesday night during ESPN’s NBA Countdown, saying he doesn’t believe in Jim Buss like he did with Dr. Jerry Buss and saying the organization has made “two critical mistakes.”
When Dwight Howard and Steve Nash arrived in Los Angeles, Johnson could barely contain his excitement, saying the superstar alignment made the Lakers “the team to beat, right there with the Heat.”
“I think we’re going to finally see the Final we’ve always wanted to see: LeBron vs. Kobe,” he gushed.
As it turns out, Johnson didn’t think Brown was the right man to lead the Lakers back to the Finals. That was critical mistake No. 1.
Naturally, when the Lakers organization abruptly fired Brown after a 1-4 start and turned its focus to finding a championship-caliber coach, Johnson was pleased with the Lakers’ direction.
“Feel bad for Coach Mike Brown, who’s a great guy, but don’t think he was the right guy for the job in the first place,” Johnson tweeted.
Critical mistake No. 2 is more than obvious for Lakers fans. Mike D’Antoni, a top candidate for the job after Brown was fired, was chosen as the next Lakers coach. The problem was 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson was also a candidate who was interested.
“I don’t feel Mike D’Antoni is the right coach for the Lakers,” Johnson said. “Especially when you have Phil Jackson sitting out there, who wanted to be the Laker coach. Jim Buss decided he didn’t want Phil Jackson, he wanted Mike D’Antoni. And that’s OK, but why didn’t you just say that? But the fans were cheering for Phil Jackson two nights in a row.”