Magic Johnson: Mike D’Antoni’s System Doesn’t Fit the Talent
Magic Johnson wasn’t too thrilled when the Lakers chose Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson, and the Los Angeles legend continues to voice his disappointment with the new Lakers coach.
Johnson spoke to ESPN Los Angeles and he talked about Mike D’Antoni’s offense not fitting well with the talent the Lakers have. In D’Antoni’s system, there is a need for players that can run the court and for the most part, a roster that is fairly young. The Lakers do have some pieces here and there that fit the system, but for the most part Johnson does not see this team working well under D’Antoni’s style.
“I’ve gotta adjust my system a little bit if I’m the coach. That’s all,” Johnson said. “His system doesn’t fit the talent that the Lakers have. You can’t run with this team. Who are the runners? You’ve got one guy who can get up and down the court and that’s Kobe (Bryant).
“Ron (Metta World Peace)? Love him, but he’s slow. Both our big men are not fast guys. So we gotta say, ‘Maybe I should scale it back. I run, if the basket is there, we take it.’ Just like us in ‘Showtime,’ we ran and if we got the layup, good. If not, Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), come here, bail us out. That’s what you do. That’s basketball.”
There is a big difference between the roster D’Antoni had during his Phoenix Suns days and the one he has now in Los Angeles. With the Suns, D’Antoni had a younger roster and more shooters to space the floor. Even though Steve Nash is in Los Angeles, he has not played since the hiring of D’Antoni and it is unclear if he can still be effective.