Lakers News: Magic Johnson Praises Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak For Hiring Luke...

Lakers News: Magic Johnson Praises Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak For Hiring Luke Walton

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Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers passed on the opportunity to bring back Phil Jackson to be the team’s head coach in 2012, Magic Johnson has been highly critical of the moves made by vice president of basketball operations and part-owner, Jim Buss.

Johnson has had no problem publicly criticizing the team over the last few years with Buss usually being the focal point of his criticism.

After the Lakers hired Luke Walton to be Byron Scott’s successor on Friday, Magic changed his tune and took to Twitter to praise Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak for what he perceives to be the right move for the team:

Johnson also talked a bit about Walton and why he’s the right man for the job in Los Angeles. Magic believes Walton’s “championship mindset” will be a difference maker for the Lakers, via Twitter:

Walton will have his work cut out for him in his first stint as a head coach in the NBA. The Lakers are coming off a third straight year without a playoff appearance and a franchise-worst record of 17-65.

Despite three years of disappointment in Los Angeles, Walton will have an opportunity to steer the team in the right direction if the Lakers can have a successful offseason. Los Angeles will need the balls to bounce their way in the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery to secure their pick. The Lakers’ pick is top-three protected and will go to the Philadelphia 76ers if the draft pick falls out of the first three selections.

NBA free agency will also be crucial for the Lakers with the team needing to bring in a few top-tier free agents to help lead their roster filled with talented young players. Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan, Al Horford, and Hassan Whiteside will likely be among the free agents the team will target this summer.