On Tuesday, Magic Johnson appeared on ESPN’s First Take to discuss numerous topics including the Los Angeles Lakers and Jim Buss. The five-time champion was critical of Buss and believes this is the ‘biggest’ off-season for the franchise.
While Magic will continue to voice his opinions about his former team, head coach Byron Scott came to Buss’ defense before the Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:
Byron Scott defended Jim Buss this a.m.: "Personally I like him and professionally I think he’s doing all the right things right now."
— Bill Oram (@billoram) February 10, 2015
Since Dr. Jerry Buss passed away, his son has taken the brunt of the blame for the Lakers no longer being a perennial championship contender. After firing Mike Brown five games into the 2012-13 season, the Lakers chose Mike D’Antoni ahead of Phil Jackson. During that off-season, Dwight Howard left for the Houston Rockets and Steve Nash has only appeared in 65 total games.
For the Lakers, they are in unfamiliar territory as they are going to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season. However, with a top-five protected pick in this year’s draft that will likely feature Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and financial flexibility to sign two players to max contracts, the Lakers are in a position to improve next season.
Byron Scott Talks Tanking, Lakers Future ‘This Summer Is Going To Be Big’