Lakers News: Mike D’Antoni Dismisses Magic Johnson Comments

Lakers News: Mike D’Antoni Dismisses Magic Johnson Comments


Mike D'Antoni

It’s no secret that Magic Johnson isn’t happy with the way things are going with the Los Angeles Lakers right now. The former face of the franchise has been very outspoken about the Lakers, recently bashing the team for a number of different reasons.

One thing that Magic seems reluctant to let go is the fact that the Lakers chose to go with Mike D’Antoni as the new head coach over bringing Phil Jackson back for a third stint.

On Tuesday, Magic made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and continued to bash the Lakers. The current owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers expressed frustration with the fact that the team is not being taught how to play defense and once again took a shot at the front office for neglecting to bring back Jackson.

A day after Magic’s comments were aired on Leno, D’Antoni was asked about those comments directed at him according to Shahan Ahmed of

Off the bat, Mike D’Antoni was asked about comments Magic Johnson made on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, accusing D’Antoni of not teaching defense and not being a championship-level coach.

“Next subject,” D’Antoni laughed off the question.

At this point in time, D’Antoni has tuned out Magic and for good reason as his hands are basically tied in terms of what he’s able to do with this team moving forward.

As of right now, there’s no telling what the future holds for D’Antoni in Los Angeles or if this team can turn things around this season or the next. Despite the uncertainty, the Lakers don’t intend to fire D’Antoni anytime soon, but you can count on Magic continuing to criticize the franchise.
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  • The Little General

    Mike D’Antoni is a nice guy but a terrible coach.The terrible coach MDA couldn’t even win with Kobe,Howard,Nash,Gasol,MWP.Blake,Meeks,Jamison.Lakers barely made the playoffs last and season and got swept out by the Spurs in the first round.D’Antoni got plenty of chances to prove himself epic fail.

    Now this season he has a record of 16-29 as Lakers coach,not cutting the mustard and seriously baffling how he is still the coach.Tark the shark got fired by the Spurs within 20 games when he left UNLV to coach the Spurs.Now this junk of a coach is still screwing up the Lakers royally every freaking day.

    Time to cut the losses and fire his ass right away.Magic Johnson is 100% correct about the Lakers coaching situation,it’s obvious to everyone by now and this team is suffering because of the crappy coach D’Antoni.

    The players have quit on the coach and want him gone from the looks of it.Lakers need to get Kevin Durant from OKC somehow someway by 2016 to save this franchise from the depths of hell.Mike D’Antoni is the worst coach in the NBA at teaching defense and he is a mumbling West Virginia idiot.

    Lakers need Kevin Durant and no way in hell will any elite player sign with the Lakers knowing piece of crap D’Antoni is the coach.Lakers management must make the right move by firing this awful coach Mike D’Antoni.Cut the losses.

    • Daryl Peek

      Why would players that are performing at their career best level want the coach and his system ousted? Most of them chose to come here and play for less money in part because of D’Antoni.

      Meeks, Young, Marshall, X, Farmar, Blake, Harris, Kelly and even Hill are all gonna get decent paydays from being under MDA in the D’Antoni system.

      Injuries are the reason for the sorry season the team is having.

      • Leonel CuffyoChick Pierre

        huh wrong they don’t come to play for MDA they come because its fucking Lakers, One of the biggest basketball franchise ever. i don’t know what else to tell you buddy.

        • Danny E. Pagan

          I believe Wes Johnson and Farmar have both said that part of the reason they came was because D’Antoni was coach , people forget that the guy has done wonders for many players careers. With him as coach everybody gets a fair shake at touches and shots and that’s why players wanted to play for him. Now, with his reputation completely tarnished by the local media and fans i not sure people will want to come here in the future.

          • LAYLAYKURSH

            Poor dasstoni, his reputation is ruined by local media WHO by the way KNOW all the STATS, all the NUMBERS and STATS that matter, not his lousy championLESS reputation… how can. you make players better and not win one single championship, HOW? explain that to me!! HOW? if he won even just one championship i would not bother replying to you but he’s had a ton of players, franchises, etc etc play under him and what was the final result? N O T H I N G !!! correct me if am wrong. please DO.

          • roseducanna

            Only cheap players want to play with coach MDA.Good players never want to play with this coach like ( Howard, Gasol, May be Melo and L.B.Jame too).

          • nlruizjr

            What quality player in his right mind would want to play for a coach that hasn’t won a damn thing, just because he’s a nice guy and let’s them play, why don’t you ask Chris Kaman what he thinks of this bimbo coach. Don’t understand how the FO can let MD not use a quality center when they need some defense and rebounds.

        • Daryl Peek

          Farmar , Wes, X, Nash and Blake all praise MDA and as Danny said some of those guys did in fact say D’Antoni was a factor in their decisions. I know what they all said mayne.

          • nlruizjr

            they were referring to his system, not the coach !!!!!

          • Daryl Peek

            SAID SYSTEM WAS CREATED BY D’ANTONI, and the players used his name directly. WOW people really hate him that much?!?


        are you ok ? maybe you should take a summer break, come back, get a few back massages, have a few drinks, eat well, do nothing, then analyze your answer…. MOST players chose to play for less money in part because of D Asstoni? i wont even elaborate further on this. good day!

        • Daryl Peek


      • Samer Ali

        the reason those players “STATS” are so high is because of the unbelievable playing time they are getting. Any other team and these guys would be pushing 5-8 minutes of playing time a night, not STARTING. The injuries have forced these guys to play more and hence their numbers show it. The offense the lakers currently run also features quick shooting, which in turn results in more possessions for the lakers and more opportunities for these guys to pad the stats/score. The numbers are deceiving. The offense is not the reason these guys appear to be playing better. They are just getting more minutes. Watch the offense and you will see NO CLEAR objective or game plan heading into each night. I watch every game and I cannot tell what the objective is from possession to possession. Are we posting up? Are we hiding Gasol at the top of the key for no reason? Are we a fast break team? No clear answers. This coach is a joke, and will be gone before the end of this season… He couldn’t squeak out a playoff series victory when he had MVP Nash on his squad in PHX… and he’s going to take this crew of bench players to .500 mark? HA!

        • Daryl Peek

          I would agree with you but players like X, Farmar, Meeks, Blake, Hill, Young and Johnson were all putting up career numbers when the team was almost completely healthy early on aside from Kobe and Nash.

          Remember the bench mob that was lighting the league up before the injuries? MDA was going 10 sometimes 11 deep and those same players were more efficient putting up great numbers in a collective organized manner. By the time they were 10-9 they had started to show signs of turning the corner in becoming a pretty good team. I even remember good defense being mentioned especially with the bench mob that was creating turnovers feeding off them in the fast break. Fans were loving that energy! It was exciting basketball and fight was the key word as they never gave up in games. D’Antoni had even started to win over some of his haters as there was no doubt his system was working with the castoffs from other teams. Pau and Kaman were the only players not thriving and they were both injured at the time and don’t like small ball.

          The injuries created the inconsistencies and loss of structure were seeing. No HC could manage this mess and come out unscathed. Image Phil losing Fisher, Kobe, Farmar, Sasha and Ariza in the 08-09 season? How many games would that Lakers team win with D-League players filling in?

          BTW, no team runs the same offensive sets all the time. That would be stupid because it allows the defense to key in. Gasol didn’t stay in the post in the triangle. Duncan often pops on the PNR. KG posts up and shoots at the top of the key just like Gasol. Bosh is the same in Miami. Diversity is a good thing offensively.

  • Jim213

  • GM Jack

    Mike do not even go near Magic. He is an all time god of basketball. As a player you were nothing as a coach you are nothing. If Jeanie Buss had her ways, you would not be in Los Angeles.

    Yes, Mike Brown was a better coach, maybe, not for the Lakers. Look at Brown’s record in Cleveland and what he achieved with one Star and a bunch of clowns.

    • J24

      Can’t compare Eastern Conference to Western. But I agree that if Jeanie had her way he wouldn’t be there.

      • Daryl Peek

        If Jeanie had her way Dr. Buss would be rolling over in his grave because Phil would be in the FO. Dr. Buss chose Jimmy over Jeanie in b-ball operations for that very reason.

    • richard

      hahahahahaha…Mike Brown a better coach than MDA? Brown has a healthy roster in Cleveland and his team almost has an identical record with the Lakers who is decimated by injuries and 3/5 of it’s starting players injured, not to mention its scoring leader and captain playing only in 6 games and you call Brown a better coach?. And that we have 5 players on our team that other teams didn’t pick up.. give credit where it is due, man!

      Remember, in the pre-season…all basketball experts and tv commentators peg the Lakers to be 25th in the league, and that is without the injuries. Have you also forgotten that we have played games without a PG on the floor?

    • richard

      One star and a bunch of clowns?

      2008-2009 Starters: Mo Williams, Z-Ilgauskas, Ben Wallace, Delonte West,. LBJ

      Bench: Wally Szczerbiak, Daniel Gibson, JJ HIckson, Pavlovic, Varejao

      Tell me is this lineup a bunch of clowns… I tell you that lineup was very very good team… compare that to this lakers roster and you will see night and day.

  • vdogg

    d’antoni’s lakers teams have been plagued by injuries… that being said, mike is not the right coach for this team. the lakers need to cut their losses this offseason and hire byron scott or george karl. bring back a healthy kobe with a highly touted rookie and key free agents in tow. if the lakers are smart, they can turn their fortunes around as soon as next year.

    • Jade Baxter (Leslie)

      But the injuries are indicative of his coaching style……….run and gun. Look at the injuries, they are all knee, hamstring, and ankles……this was also a problem in Phoenix until they got a Corrective Exercise and Performance Specialist to give them specific exercises to combat these type of overuse injuries……….just sayin

      • Daryl Peek

        How so?

        Mike Trudell ‏@LakersReporter17hView translation
        Most games missed due to injury in @NBA 2013-14: LAL (148); MIL (137); NYK (107); DEN (104); WAS (104); PHX (95); BKN (88)

        Of the teams on this most games missed due to injury list the Lakers and Denver are the only ones that truly run at an uptempo MDA style pace. How do you account for the other teams?

        Steve Nash has been more durable than Kobe since 99. Nash played in the D’Antoni system most of that time and Kobe missed way more games than Nash due to injury from 99-2012. How could that be if MDA’s coaching style causes injuries? Keep in mind Nash is almost 5 years older than Kobe yet he stayed healthier?!?

        And another thing, Nash always played less minutes per game than Kobe back then so the over use thing is false also.

      • NickOld

        Wow really, so run and gun gets players injure. You do know that the Show Time Lakers are the epitome of run and gun right?

      • richard

        now,how is that the coach’s fault? In the first place FO got him, they should provide him with the right environment to succeed, including getting a Performance specialist. And by the way, the injuries to his team in Phoenix was normal injuries that every team suffers and nowhere near the injuries we have here… this is the first team that he had with that number of injured players… and by the way, Blakes injury is “elbow”… last time I looked, people don’t run on elbow… and Henry’s injury is on his knees, which he also injured I believe in his rookie season where he only played in limited minutes and in a team that runs deliberate slow pace. The only injury that lends credit to you observation is that of Farmar which is a common injury to basketball players. I can’t say the same with Kobe’s injury… that was just a freak one..

  • Jade Baxter (Leslie)

    Well I agree with Magic……..

  • Jay Brodes

    dantoni is terrible…magic is absolutely right..yes, the team is decimated but the fact that the team comes out in the 3rd quarters and get blown out speaks volumes..that is on the coach…brian shaw should be on the sidelines..period!

  • mikey

    magic is right there´s no defence, they would of made to the finals with the team they had and most likely howard would of signed the contract if Phil was the coach last year

    • richard

      I am not sure about that…I love Magic, he was the first player I have ever love when I become a lakers fans in the 80’s… but he says too much without solid proof… this lakers does know how to defend, just not elite… infact if we have to compare Magic’s team with this team.. they are quite identical,defense wise per 100 possession…

      Off Rtg: 115.6 (1st of 23) ▪ Def Rtg: 106.5 (7th of 23)… this is 1987 lakers team.

      It is in the offense that we are lacking… which is a personnel issue, attributed mostly to injuries… that is not MDA’s fault.

      • Daryl Peek

        I’ve been telling Jim and others this for weeks! Offensive efficiency helps your defense.

        • richard

          agree …

        • Jim213

          This team (roster) plays better when they play more efficient on the offensive end which translates defensively. HOWEVER, given their current play they have to play better defense no matter what FUNDAMENTALS.

          But you’re stating that they need to focus more on offensive efficiency (off course to win games) but present it as the solution to their poor defense. Disagree, with you on that as defense should still be given full effort not matter if on a slump or just for having a bad offense.

          • Daryl Peek

            You can’t perform bad offensively and win games. No team in the history of this league has done so. This is what you’re not getting. I’m not saying there’s no need to focus on defense. Its just you must help your D by scoring more efficiently. Especially if you expect big’s to be aggressive defensively.

            During this current slump it absolutely is the lack of offensive effectiveness in the third quarter of games that’s the reason we’ve lost 16 of the last 19 games. It’s been highlighted by Stu, Worthy and all of the Lakers analyst.

            The team is dying right this very minute in the third and its because they are not scoring. 10-2 in the third quarter at the 8:32 mark down by 8. That’s bad offense!

          • Jim213

            You’re interpretation is WAY OFF. Have to outscore opponents to win games but it’s no excuse to poor defense or when on losing slumps. They have to close down those open lanes that BEEN open all season.

            You can drive a car through those lanes basically. Can’t win a game when the other team plays better inside even with bad shooting nights whch goes for playing better D too.

          • Daryl Peek

            No my interpretation is spot on you just don’t want to admit your wrong. Yes we need better defensive focus but if you can only muster 2 points in 4 minutes of a third quarter, I don’t care how well you defend, you’ve put way too much pressure on your defense to try and keep you in the game.

            The high turnovers is a byproduct of poor offense which lead to fast break points in the paint.

          • Jim213

            I would agree with you if we had STARTERS and BANGERS but we don’t now aside of being an issue the coach should be able to address this given his preferred style. Bench players mostly… the problem is defense and not offense mostly.

          • Daryl Peek

            I’m sitting here watching missed shot after missed shot coupled with bad decisions offensively leading to more offensive touches for the Pacers in a game where they are only shooting 44% from the field but you’re stuck on defense as the sole problem?

          • Dragon7s

            I see (and agree to a point) what you’re saying, however players go through ups and downs on offense. That’s why anyone making over half their shots is considered a great shooter.
            Defense is about effort and players don’t go ‘cold’ on defense.
            Now having said that, I stated previously that defense takes energy and when your team is short-handed, there’s going to be a lack of energy due to sheer exhaustion and that’s when the defense tends to break down.

          • Daryl Peek

            Actually they do go cold on D. It’s called mental mistakes or miss communications. The offense helps boost the energy and focus of the D when its clicking. This Lakers roster is far from stout defensively but the bench mob was fierce in attacking with pressure D in turning defense into offense before all of the injuries.

          • Dragon7s

            Mental mistakes are usually a result of fatigue, not always but usually.

            And the reason the bench mob was so fierce was because they were on the bench, fully rested…lol

            I’m not trying to start an argument. I’m just saying that there’s two sides to the debate.
            You’ll hear players say that if they are involved offensively then it’s easier to gear up to play defense.
            All I’m saying is that good defense is a result of concentrated effort and energy. A player can be having an off night offensively but still turn it up on defense.
            I’ve heard Kobe, and others, say that some nights the shots just aren’t falling so they have to find different ways to help their team, which is usually to be more determined on D.

          • Daryl Peek

            We both have good points. I recall hearing both Shaq, Kareem and Hakeem all say if you don’t feed me on offense I’ll show you on the defensive end. Meaning they would slack.

            I think with this crew of Lakers they fed off the emotional high of running offensively. It sparked everything. All of them talk about pace. Sadly this is where Kobe and Gasol don’t fit, and to be honest don’t want to either. I actually like the up tempo O but that is where I see MDA not lasting. The FO will choose Kobe over him all day. I hate that it will come to that. Not that I’m so enamored with D’Antoni, I just like the different style of b-ball for a change.

          • Dragon7s

            I understand what you are saying and how when the offense is flowing, it’s easier to play D but none of these guys are Shaq/Kareem/Hakeem’s…lol

            AndI have yet to hear Kobe criticize MDA and was one of the people that praised his original hire.
            Kobe understands the business of basketball just as well as the X’s and O’s and if he had a problem with MDA as coach, I’m sure we would have heard about it by now.

          • Daryl Peek

            I’m not saying Kobe has a problem with D’Antoni but Kobe absolutely does not like the faster pace. He and Gasol both recently talked publicly about their disdain for small ball.

          • Dragon7s

            Gasol talked about his preference of playing two big men instead of him and a stretch 4.
            Kobe was referring not to small ball but to the way the rules have changed that prevent players from being more physical and aggressive. It’s not the pace that Kobe had a problem with.

          • Daryl Peek

            Kobe did actually say small ball tho, and both he and Gasol absolutely want to slow the pace. They didn’t want a fast pace last season either. Kobe went out of his way to get the slowed up two man game going between he and Gasol when he came back.

  • Daryl Peek

    KEVIN DING ‏@KevinDing42m
    Pacers coach Frank Vogel on 16-29 Lakers, mostly sans Kobe and Nash: “I don’t think it’s possible to do any better than they’ve done.”

    • richard

      that is a real voice of reason coming from a coach…. Magic Johnson cannot understand that… he is not a coach… he is a fan and a former basketball player, a great one. But his comments where not from a perspective of a coach who knows a team, but from a fan.

      • Daryl Peek

        Agreed and its absolutely reckless and not fair to the young Buss’s or Lakers brand the way he’s going about things.

        • Dragon7s

          His comments have, unfortunately, taken a bit of the luster off what was once a pristine Laker image I had of him.

          • Daryl Peek

            I’ll never lose respect for Magic but that don’t mean I’ll blindly agree with what comes out of his mouf.

          • Dragon7s

            Fair enough. It’s just that in mind he’s become two people, Magic the player and Magic the former player and I can’t respect the latter when every time he opens his mouth lately, it’s to criticize the Lakers in one form or another.

            If he keeps this up, I’ll be curious to see what happens the first time he shows up at Dodger stadium in public. I’m guessing there are going to be a few boo’s shouted his way.

          • Daryl Peek

            I can’t see that. Jimmy is the whipping boy right now and most fans agree with Magic. I find it sickening! Magic should keep that behind closed doors and talk to Jimmy face to face.

          • Dragon7s

            “Most fans” think of Kobe only as a scorer.
            “Most fans” think that Phil would have led this roster to a championship.
            So I don’t go along with “most fans” when they say such silly things because they are simply parroting what some talking head on the radio told them to think.

            But you’re right. If Magic really feels that way and is saying those things out of sincerity then he should keep it private. I’m sure he has Jim’s phone number.

      • Dragon7s

        Magic Johnson’s career coaching record? 5-11

        Not much room for him to be spouting off about any other coach, let alone one that’s missing 5 key players for such an extended time.

  • D.

    Mike D’Antoni is the Marty Schottenheimer of the NBA!!! Sorry South Cali and SE US had to deal with these guys. Sorry about that coaches.

    • Daryl Peek

      As a long time BOLT fan wearing the shame of the loss to the Donkeys via a bet, SMH, I can attest many of us felt Marty ball would’ve won for us if the then GM (AJ Smith) had not been such a prick!

  • oh shut up

    Magic Johnson is one of my top 5 fave athletes of all time, but along with all you idiots posting, needs to stfu. Who the hell does D’Antoni have on the team besides Gasol that they’re supposed be some kind of juggernaut? You say last year he had Howard and Kobe? Kobe doesn’t answer to anyone, and its obvious Howard and Kobe are water and oil. Nash has been a shell of himself even before he came to LA. Could Jackson have made that work? No one knows and no one should care because he’s not the coach and that’s that.

  • Daryl Peek

    More poor offense in the beginning of the 4th and the Pacers are pulling away…

    • Daryl Peek

      Pau really pisses me off tipping rebounds he needs to go get. Move your feet Pau and go get the ball!!

    • roseducanna

      Because only 5/24 3 points .It is not win.

  • Mike D’Antoni

    Fuck you Manager Iam go out in lakers with nick young Bitch

  • Kobe Bryant

    iam injury for 3-4 weeks shet my Friend in Philippines is #KimRjhayRamirez Add him and like his profile picture Kobe
    is back in Next YeaR!

  • JR 87

    To all the idiots that have commented stating that the Lakers problem is offense and not defense…on this current 5 game losing streak we are on the lakers are averaging 100 pts and this game against the Pacers was the only one in the losing streak scoring less than 100….Defense is their issue and D’antoni and Defense don’t mix

  • Maverick

    Magic Johnson has all the answers, right…..!

    • Dragon7s

      This is the same Magic Johnson whose career coaching record was 5-11 so I don’t think he has much room to talk when it comes to coaching.

  • Paul Blundell

    It is unfortunate that Magic continues to put his foot in
    his mouth regarding this franchise. I can’t imagine what a distraction this is
    for the fine folks in the Laker organization who are diligently trying to get
    their team competitive again. His self-absorption and obsession with celebrity
    undermines every basketball analysis he makes. I don’t know how he can
    currently be viewed as a friend to the franchise. His criticism is short
    sighted, unconstructive, and comes off like backbiting. It always sounds to me
    like he feels the organization him owes him more than they have already given

  • Not a D’Antoni fan

    I’ve never been a fan of D’Antoni and his hiring was a knee-jerk reaction to Jim Buss NOT wanting to bring back Jackson. But to blame him for last years playoff flame-out to the spurs who were a shot away from being World champs or this years lottery-bound squad is ridiculous.

    Howard was an AWFUL fit with Kobe and Pau Gasol and he sulked while trying to get back to 100% health. Nash should have retired BEFORE the Lakers gave away two 1st rd picks for him.

    D’Antoni is STARTING Kendall Marshall who despite being a HOF caliber play-maker cannot shoot and is too slow to defend. Marshall is so bad the Suns dumped him after ONE season and D’Antoni was FORCED to use him after injuries to Nash, Blake, Farmar, Kobe and finally Xavier Henry.

    On the plus side, Lakers gave plenty of burn to young players like Henry, Hill, Meeks, Kelly, Young, Johnson, Sacre and Marshall. The Lakers own their 1st rd pick in this years draft and are in the bottom five which means a lot of ping pong balls in a deep draft.

    Lakers screwed up their cap space extending an injured and 35 year-old Kobe.

    Lakers has always been a destination for free-agents and still are. D’Antoni’s style is a players dream, they actually love playing for him.

    Once Donnie Walsh got D’Antoni his type of players in New York they were winning. Then owner Jim Dolan decided he wanted Carmelo and imploded D’Antoni’s team to acquire him. Look at poor Mike Woodsen who has become the Knick’s scapegoat.

    It is easy to dump on D’Antoni but the one thing that he doesn’t do is develop young players. He has been forced to in L.A. Jackson couldn’t do a thing with this roster and the Howard/Pau pairing was never going to work. Look at Howard in Houston who have surrounded Howard with some pretty decent talent. they are in 5th place and only a loss ahead of Phoenix.

    Lakers have a legitimate shot at Lebron James this year if they could convince Nash to retire. Kevin Love has been rumored to run ti L.A. in ’15.

    • Daryl Peek

      The angry villagers don’t wanna hear reasonable thinking. All they want is Housewives of the Lakeshow drama. They feed off the negative energy of FO trolling it seems.

  • I’m Just Sayin’

    Somebody defending Antoni? seriously, he sucks, he only rewards you with playing time if you practice to the point of injury and wonders why his best get hurt or benched does anybody think Hill is any better now that he is forced into the system to keep playing? Pau’s D is horrid but will he play him with a center to cover it, no. Young needs to warm up in a reserve roll to get going, so he starts him. The guy is not all there and lets personal grudges get in his way of coaching. Look at the injuries while he was in NY coincidence? I cringed when they let go of Bernie he had depth in his brain. Antoni is a one trick pony that could not win with the perfect roster for him (PHO). Jim buss will ruin the team I have loved for decades and hired this idiot to do it. Tanking may get a pick but who’s gonna want to play here when it’s over?