VIDEO: Magic Johnson Blasts Mike D’Antoni On Tonight Show With Leno

VIDEO: Magic Johnson Blasts Mike D’Antoni On Tonight Show With Leno


Ever since head coach Mike D’Antoni took over for Mike Brown last season, Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson hasn’t been happy with the storied NBA franchise and the decision makers in the front office.

Magic has publicly expressed his disappointment in the recent decisions made by the team, especially passing over Phil Jackson for D’Antoni, and continued to throw the Lakers under the bus on Monday during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

The five-time NBA champion had no problem telling Jay Leno that the decision to bring in D’Antoni was a bad one. Magic emphasized the lack of defense being taught by D’Antoni and the fact he’s not a championship-caliber head coach.

The former face of the franchise also chimed in on the current face of the Lakers, Kobe Bryant. Magic agreed that Bryant deserves the lucrative two-year contract extension he recently signed, but stressed that Jim Buss needs to make a move in free agency this summer.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony were all mentioned by the Lakers legends as potential targets for the team if they become available. Interesting to hear Magic comment on Anthony coming to the Lakers after suggesting the superstar should stay with the New York Knicks on Sunday on Twitter.

Along with bashing the Lakers for bad decisions and poor defense, Magic also chimed in on fellow NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman and his connection to North Korea. Needless to say, Magic isn’t a fan of Rodman’s recent antics overseas.
Lakers Practice: Coach D’Antoni Talks Pau Gasol’s Tantrum, Steve Nash Being An Inspiration

  • Stank

    I don’t call it tank i call it stank.Lakers stank.MDA stank.Lets stank for Wiggins.

  • Jim213

    Agree with Magic, they don’t play D inside (no bangers no rings). But others (DP) say defense has never been the problem?… while disagreeing with Magic (pun) though it’s the halfway mark and TO’s and D breakdowns still persist.

    • Jim213

      • Loretta


    • Daryl Peek

      When did I say defense is not a problem? I said better offensive efficiency helps the defense. SMH
      Miami, SA, GS and OKC are all top 10 in offensive efficiency and are top 10 defensively.

      Every team still has TO and defensive break downs. Golden State, OKC and Houston all average more turnovers a game than the Lakers. Indiana and Miami are pretty much equal with the Lakers in turnovers per game.

      • LakersFan

        Lol. Just when I was starting to give you respect as a knowledgeable Lakers fan you come up with this BS. SMH…

        • Daryl Peek

          First thing I’m not looking for anyone’s approval! Secondly what’s BS about it? Its all fact. If you feel some kind of way about the truth that’s on you.

  • ra

    This is the new Lakers. Get used to it. All of us (including Magic) are asked out of the decision process. All we can do is post these comments, and cross our fingers.

    (however, when the Lakers brand crashes and burns, eventually, maybe management will take notice)

  • 3339

    dantoni stinks. I can’t stand watching him infect the Lakers. How can anyone possibly defend what this guy is doing. we stink. an absolute laughing stock. When will they get their head out their ass and fire this clown?

    • Jim213

      No point in firing him now at the half way point. Best to wait towards end of season b/c they’re lottery draft bound.

  • Daryl Peek

    The Showtime Lakers ran fast pace basketball. They allowed 109 points a game up… offensive efficiency helped their defense which was not great either.

    In 1987-88 they averaged 19.1 turnovers a game. These Lakers under MDA average 15.1. Showtime made up for a porous D and all of the turnovers by outscoring and out rebounding opposition as a team. No one on the team grabbed more than 8 boards a game. They just simply outran you.

    • Michael Bromley

      Sure the show time lakers gave up a lot of points, but look at the league average for ppg back then…

      • Daryl Peek

        Good point but how do you explain more scoring back then VS today in a league that was allowed to be much more physical defensively than they are now? Every rule change since then has been to help offense thrive. Especially after the 90’s Jordan rules/borderline thuggery.

  • Sam Saab

    hes right, as i said in previous posts, d antoni isnt a championship caliber coach, we will never win a championship as long as hes the coach, and defense is almost non existent

  • corky carroll

    Can Magic buy the Lakers? or be hired as GM? Or, hell, get signed to a 10 day contract?

  • Sylvia Ross

    Maybe, they will get their heads out of their behinds when time warner has a drop in revenue. Until then why care if we the public and Laker fans still support our team knowing they won’t change until we make them? Down with dumtoni. Laker fan for life. I support Magic all the way.

    • Sti1lmatic


  • Bike Rider


  • Gregory Choa

    Yeah, well, I’m not so sure how much Phil Jackson was really “in the bag” at that particular juncture when Magic cites that the Lakers made “a critical mistake” by going with D’Antoni in lieu of Phil Jackson. I remember those 48-72hrs very vividly and I don’t know how Magic can unequivocally say that, “yeah, he was gonna come back” and that, “he was gonna accept that money”…truth is NOBODY really knows what went on that weekend at Phil’s house except for Mitch, Jim and Phil.
    My understanding is that it was anything BUT a “done deal” and that Phil was somewhat on the fence and needed more time to “think about it”. The Lakers were in a tailspin with Mike Brown’s disasterous start last season and had to make a move right away and weren’t necessarily prepared to wait around for Phil to make up his mind.

    • Rankx

      Phil asked to give him up until Monday to decide and Sunday night they hired MDA. Don’t make it seem like they had to wait an entire month for Phil to decide. They really was no reason they could not wait 1 more day, their interim coach was doing a fine job.

      • Chauncey

        They called him shortly after midnight, so technically, it already was Monday.

      • Gregory Choa

        All I’m saying is nobody but those guys were in the room – so Magic, you, me and EVERYONE else is speculating about just how “done” a deal this may have been with Phil. It’s not just that Phil didn’t necessarily say, “I’m all in!” right then and there…there may have been other considerations about what Phil may have wanted to incentivize the deal that we just don’t know about and which may have factored in to Mitch & Jim’s decision to ultimately go in a different direction with MDA.

        • hookedonnews

          If the reports are true, Phil made demands that no team would have agreed to. And as Phil has said since then, he was not up to the job physically anyway. Why do we have to keep rehashing this? And I don’t agree that MDA can’t be a championship coach. Given the right players I believe he can be. Let’s see how many championships Spoelstra wins once LeBron is gone.

          • Daryl Peek

            Too many Lakers fans, Magic included, don’t wanna hear the truth.

      • Daryl Peek

        According to Roland Lazenby Phil wanted to rub it in Jimmy’s face. This is why he came with outlandish terms on his part. Ones he knew Jimmy would not give him.

  • En

    I love Magic but c’mon now. Any championship coach becomes a Non- championship coach given this roster and all the issues, egos, personal agendas, injuries, that comes with it.

  • C*HarrisTHEboss

    We suck plain and simple – it is not fun basketball to watch and anybody who is still sitting here making excuses for D’Antoni is a fool

    • Josh

      What does D’Antoni have to do with starting a D-League point guard? He will never lead any team to a championship, but he’s not the reason the Lakers are so bad this season (or last season).

      • C*HarrisTHEboss

        Why are you bothering me Yosh? I didn’t even reference Kendra Marshmallow – go back to your hole.

        • Josh

          I had to come out of my hole to mention KMarsh because he is a prime example of why we can’t blame D’Antoni, no matter how we feel about his coaching abilities. Steve Nash. Steve Blake. Jordan Farmar. Kobe Bryant. Xavier Henry. All injured, and the reason the Lakers signed a non-NBA talent in the first place. And the reason D’Antoni is starting a non-NBA talent and giving him 40 minutes a game. I can’t defend him starting or playing Ryan Kelly and Robert Sacre; those are on Pringles.

  • Troy

    I really did wish the lakers had fired MDA before the season started or a month ago and installed Phil, Sloan, Karl, Byron, whomever…because these guys would’ve gone belly up themselves with this Team as it is constructed and people can finally shut up about this is ALL solely a coaching issue. I’m no MDA fan, but to lay it all on him is foolish. The Lakers are 16-29 (16-30 by 10pm later when Ind poleaxes them), and some of you fools act like if Phil or any other coach is there instead, the Lakers would be 30-16 or 26-20 etc..Hell no they won’t. They would probably be 2 or 3 games better tops and still in the bottom of the West.
    A lot of you are so out of touch with the reality in front of you, you all think all it takes is a quick fix like firing the coach. The next 2 -3 years will be rough, the days of reloading on the fly are over.

  • NickOld

    Wow, I always thought Magic was the best Lakers, not in terms of talent (that’s Kobe hands down), but for all he represents for the Lakers. But now he sounds like a bitter old former player whose really mad at his old boss. How quickly people forgot about the deal for CP3 and the Howard and Nash recruit, it didn’t work out, but that’s life not everyone can work together. And Howard did leave the original Dantoni system to go to McHale’s Dantoni system. Nobody’s saying crap about that team cause they have better matching personality and a younger team and they’re winning. Don’t get all the hate for Dantoni. Guess Laker fans don’t know who to blame at this point.

    • hookedonnews

      They hate MDA because he’s not Phil and because they don’t know any better. The idea that you can win with 5 of your best players out is stupid for lack of a better word. The fact that we’re as competitive as we are with this roster is a minor miracle, but some seem to think we’d be winning if we just had a different coach.

  • roseducanna

    Fire GM Mit Kupcake and lame coach.Owner of LAKERS is blind and deaf.

  • LakersFan4Life

    The Lakers hiring D’Antoni was a no win situation unless he won a championship last season. If they hired Jackson back then any blame would have been on Jackson. He had the team to win but couldn’t get it done and the Lakers hired the best for the job. If they won, Jackson and the Lakers continued to show why they are champions. So hiring D’Antoni was a horrible decision even if Jackson was on the fence. Why not give him a weekend to decide and if Jackson said no, then you go to option #2 (D’Antoni). There would be less doubt or questions about the decision-making of the Lakers if they did it all that way. Oh well, it’s the past and now time to accept our rebuilding years (ala Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Elden Campbell, Vlade, etc) except without the Jerrys (West and Buss) to make the Lakers a championship team again.

  • LAAL

    It starts at the top and the decisions being made and implemented!

  • lakersforever

    anybody else tired of magics rants? we get the point.. MDA sucks and you dont like jim buss… but the constant repetitive bashing doesn’t help…

  • Danny E. Pagan

    This is so old, fire D’antoni already. I wanna see people finally pay attention to the depleted injury prone BS roster the Lakers have ensembled . Maybe with D’Antoni out of the way, Magic and the rest of the Phil lovers can finally make some noise about getting some good healthy players for next year. As long as MDA is the coach people will always make it about him when the real problem is the pathetic NBA DL talent level the Lakers have. I want him fired not because i think he is a bad coach I actually think he’s good but I want him fired cuz this D’antoni thing is the ultimate smoke screen for the real problem.

    • Jerred

      True, eveyone’s blind hatred of Dantoni is masking the host of other problems. Bad FO signings, and players pretty much in “stat padding” mode right now. Oh, and another problem is your supposed “team captain” calling out the team with his tantrum and hissy fit over lack of focus on defense, when he himself is as porous as can be on defense. The look on the faces of guys on the locker room when Pau went off was probably :”Look who’s F’n talking”

    • hookedonnews

      Interesting perspective. I don’t think he will be fired, however. I think the FO is aware of the talent level. That’s what happens when you have players with big contracts like Kobe and Gasol and the restrictions that came with the CBA. I actually think they’ve done a good job bringing in players with the little cap space they had to operate. They are trying to keep from being repeat offenders or they’re going to be crushed by the luxury tax. If we hadn’t been crippled by injuries this season, I think this could have been a surprisingly competitive team. But you can’t lose 5 top level players and expect to do much.

  • Barry Bunes

    This is the lamest rebounding Laker team I have ever seen. I cannot put it all on Pau, but the other guys just are NOT getting it done. They say that Rambis is the “defensive coach” but it seems his input is minimal. Maybe if he put # 31 back on and showed these guys how to board

    • Mike

      Either Rambis himself can’t get through them, rr the players are just a bunch of numbskulls and mercenaries with their own agendas out to get their own.

  • hookedonnews

    Once again, his comments are not helpful. He comes across as bitter. Time to move on and quit obsessing about Phil, etc. I wish he would just stop talking about the Lakers.

    • Paul Blundell

      Well said.

  • Daryl Peek

    Truth of the matter that fans, Magic and pundits don’t wanna reconcile with:

    T.J. Simers quoted Johnson in a 2012 LA Times article as saying the Lakers would win the NBA title last season.

    “I love it. Jim, you look like your father; I’m proud of you. He’s definitely the guy now to win the NBA executive-of-the-year award.

    This is also so good for Coach Mike Brown. He knows defense so well and Dwight is going to erase those shots coming down the lane, and Mike will know just how to use him. The Lakers’ tradition of great centers continues. It’s just great. Howard has already told the Lakers he will sign a five-year contract extension next summer.”

    Now that things didn’t workout;

    “This is what happens when you make the wrong decisions, two coaching wrong decisions, giving Steve Nash that deal, it’s backfired. …

    You’ve got to have someone helping Jim. He’s got to quit trying to prove a point to everybody that he can do it on his own, get his ego out of it, and just say, “Let me get someone beside me to help achieve the goals I want.”

    Magic bleeds purple and Gold like most loyal Lakers fans. The thing that’s beneath him is all of this public flip flopping in feeding the blood in the water frenzy with fanatical propaganda. If Magic truly had the Lakers best intrest at heart he’d shut his mouf publicly and go talk to Jimmy, Mitch & Jeanie privately. Magic knows Mitch and was like a big brother to Jeanie and Jimmy. He’s talking like Mitch is a yes man all of the sudden? He’s slandering his little brother and ex teammate/friend?

    Dr. Buss began grooming Jimmy back in 98. When West left in 2000 (in part due to Dr. Buss not wanting to give West Lakers shares he had previously promised) Mitch and Jimmy became the FO decision making collective with Dr. Buss. Dr. Buss closed ranks to outside influence in 03-04 as the Kobe Shaq beef came to a head and he was tired of it! Phil had always took Shaq’s side in it as Phil was constantly playing mind games with Kobe fueling the beef with Shaq in trying to get them to out duel each other while also continuously trying to get Dr. Buss to trade Kobe for players like Jason Kidd or Tracy McGrady. Dr. Buss chose Kobe and Shaq and Phil got shipped out…

    Dr. Buss didn’t want to rehire Phil in 2005 but Jimmy and Mitch convinced him to do so after Rudy T. abruptly quit due to health reasons. Phil took full advantage of the Lakers in this rough time by asking for big money and FO power. Dr. Buss begrudgingly gave him the money but would not budge on a FO/ownership stake. Dr. Buss always felt coaches should not get more money than players and didn’t like paying Phil all of that money.

    Again, the FO ranks were closed and only open to the big three of Dr. Buss, Jimmy and Mitch by 2004 and even Jeanie was on the outside looking in because she was distraught over Phil being forced to quit in 04. Jeanie chose to be an outsider at the time. Magic while still maintaining Lakers Shares was just a figure head. Magic wanted a bigger role also but was not gonna get it. Magic sold his Lakers shares in 2011 with the blessing of Dr. Buss as he became the figure head of the Dodgers as a minority partner in ownership. As previously mentioned, Magic has not been privy to Lakers insider info in years, and this is evidenced in his wild media outburst flip flopping.

    The Dr. Buss interview with Michael Eaves in 2005 speaks on the very events of today in a then prophetic way as we see the convo then is damn near the same one were having today… I would post the link but LN wont allow youtube links on this site. If you’re interested the title is “Dr. Jerry Buss (Age 72) One On One Interview With Michael Eaves”

    Dr. Buss never changed in his stance on things and it was again Jimmy who pondered hiring Phil last season but Dr. Buss helped convince him not to by telling his son not to second guess his gut feeling. When Phil came with the FO power theme again coupled with the part time HC mess Jimmy took his fathers advice and chose D’Antoni.

    End of story, but hind sight revision keeps false rumors feeding the blinds IRE.

  • XEsselle Tine

    Ok, lets take a look at the resume, and you tell me. In which season at either of his other NBA stops has Antoni’s teams played good D? They ain’t played no D! So, how is there even any question what-so-ever that what has been the case every where else that Antoni’s coached, is now the case at Staples Center, on Purple n Gold nights? Someone’s trying to re-invent the wheel: I’ve heard before that the best offense is GREAT DEFENSE. It doesn’t work the other way! Not in any sport that I know of.

    The question I have is this: Obviously Jim Buss must like Antoni, enough that he made a point of bringing him here, in the face of clearly better options for the team. So, how can he continue to put him through this publicly humiliating situation, where EVERYBODY watching has seen better, knows better, EXPECTS better from a Lakers coach than he is either willing or capable to deliver. Mike Antoni is who he is, who he’s always been, and that’s never been NBA Champion Coach.

    • hookedonnews

      The defense wasn’t great before MDA arrived in LA, although Mike Brown was supposed to be a defensive specialist. MWP was the best defender on the team, and he was past his prime. When D’Antoni was with the Suns they were so proficient on offense that they could pretty much outscore every team they played. I haven’t looked at the stats when he was in NY, but they had a couple of good defensive players (Chandler & Shumpert). Since coming to LA, D’Antoni has put more emphasis on defense and repeatedly said it was a priority. After Steve Clifford left (the defensive coach), he asked them to bring in Rambis to coach the defense. They have been pretty good at half-court defense and horrible at transition defense. Part of that is offensive turnovers that result in run-outs. They have shown they can play good defense at times. They are so undermanned right now that it’s hard to evaluate them on either end of the court. They usually start strong and fade in the second half. Some of that should improve when we get back some of our injured players. I don’t think it’s a matter of Buss liking D’Antoni. I think he understands that 5 of our top players have been out a good part of the season, and that the rest of the roster isn’t exactly All-Star caliber. If we had a record like we’ve had the last 2 seasons with a healthy roster,
      D’Antoni would have probably already been fired. No coach can be successful with the kind of injuries that have plagued this team. That’s the reason I expect him to be back next season. I do believe he can win a championship. He just needs the right players.

  • ersliva

    I agree with magic…coach d’umbass needs to go bye bye

  • Tres Swygert

    Mike D’Antoni has been an embarrassment since bein’ the head coach of the Lakers. First bein’ swept in the playoffs last year, now looking at not bein’ in the playoffs this year.

    Claim injuries as excuses all you want to, but the team wasn’t that injured before he came, and now they’re a ridiculous wreck. Looking forward to seeing him fired or not extended in contract, he’s not makin’ the game any better.