Magic Johnson has some advice for Jim Buss: 'Just be an owner'
Lakers legend advocates for the vice president and owner to take a step back, says he needs 'help' in running the Lakers.
Magic Johnson has not held back in criticizing his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson has taken a bit of a hypocritical stance through the years, blasting Mike D'Antoni for his coaching, while avoiding any criticism of Byron Scott. The one thing he has remained consistent about, however, is that Jim Buss has not executed as well as his father did as owner.
Recently, Johnson commented on the situation again, imploring Buss to "just be an owner," and saying that the Lakers need someone to "help" Buss. From the LA Times:
"I'm going to say it again: I love Jim Buss. He should just be the owner, like his dad was just the owner," Johnson said. "Let's go back with facts, so I can back this up with facts: 27 wins a couple years ago, 21 wins last year. Three summers now, we haven't signed anybody. I am backing this up with facts. We haven't signed any superstar. We've had cap space. We had cap space last summer. We're going to have more this summer."
"You've got to get somebody to help [Buss] out," said Johnson, an unpaid Lakers vice president. "Just play your role. There's nothing wrong with being a great owner.
Let's go live to general manager Mitch Kupchak's reaction:
That's right, the Lakers do have someone to help Buss, who has been helping run the team for over a decade and has overseen championship seasons. Of course, Johnson knows this, he knows the organization inside and out. So either the situation has changed or Johnson is advocating for someone to take Buss' role in the partnership with Kupchak regarding decision making.
Johnson was very close with Jerry Buss, Jim's father, who died in 2013. The two even partied in Johnson's hayday in the '80s. He clearly doesn't have the same connection with Jim Buss. Buss' sister Jeanie reiterated her support for her brother this week and said again that he has until 2017 to right the ship.
There seems to be a mounting sense of pressure on Buss, and not a lot of great options to turn things around. Additional pressure from a high-profile legend like Johnson certainly doesn't help.
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