As arguably one of the most passionate players to have ever played in the NBA while wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform, five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson is as opinionated as any former Laker in terms of off-season moves and choices the front office makes.
Although Magic isn’t involved in the day-to-day operations of the Lakers management anymore, after selling his ownership share of the team recently and going all-in as a part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the former face of the franchise doesn’t have a problem expressing his doubts or opinions about moves made by the Lakers’ front office.
With the Lakers targeting Phil Jackson to return for a third time as the team’s head coach, Magic was one of Phil’s strongest supporters. The Hall of Famer let it be known that he was pulling for Jackson or former assistant Brian Shaw for the job:
I’d love to see Phil Jackson or Brian Shaw.Wish Pat Riley was available.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 9, 2012
Obviously, the team decided to go in another direction by hiring Mike D’Antoni instead of the 11-time NBA champion.
Once the Lakers made it official that D’Antoni would be replacing Mike Brown as head coach of the Lakers, Magic stayed quite a few two days before posting the following tweet:
The reason I haven’t tweeted in 2 days is because I’ve been mourning Phil Jackson not being hired as the Lakers head coach.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 14, 2012
There’s no question Magic isn’t happy with Lakers management at the moment as he felt Jackson’s return was the ideal choice for a team in desperate need of leadership and direction on the sidelines.
It remains to be seen if the Lakers’ front office made the right decision with D’Antoni, but if the team struggles with him at the helm, choosing to pass on Jackson will haunt the team for the rest of the season and possibly beyond if it impacts Dwight Howard’s decision to stay in Los Angeles long-term.