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Magic Johnson says that Miami is responsible for Los Angeles’ dominant start

Nov 10, 2010, 6:50 PM EST

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The Miami Heat have had their ups and downs over the first eight regular-season games, but at least they can take some credit for the Los Angeles Lakers’ absolute dominance in the early part of the NBA season. That probably wouldn’t cheer Miami up, of course, but Magic Johnson says it’s the truth:

Magic Johnson knows why the Lakers are off to an 8-0 start.

“Thanks to Miami,” the Lakers legend said, smiling in a corridor underneath Staples Center on Tuesday.

Johnson said owner Jerry Buss decided to spend money this off-season when it became apparent the Miami Heat would try to become a power team by adding LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

“I don’t think the mind-set would have been the same if Miami hadn’t done what it did, because what Miami did sparked everybody,” said Johnson, a Lakers vice president who just sold his share of the team ownership.

“It sparked Dr. Buss, because, remember, he was going to cut back but he decided to spend the money, so give him a lot of credit, and then it just trickled all the way down. I think it sparked Phil [Jackson] too, and especially the best player in the world. Kobe [Bryant] has now got everybody else on the same page.”

A lot of people expected the Lakers to rest on their laurels a bit in the regular season, be limited by age and injury, and ultimately try to “flip the switch” in the playoffs, but that hasn’t been the case; the two-time defending champs have been playing like they have a lot to prove and proving it. The Heat explanation for that drive seems as good as any to me.

  1. omniusprime - Nov 11, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    Yep the Heatstroke inspired the whole Laker organization from top to bottom to come out this year to prove that the media pundits who crowned the Heatstroke champs before they ever played a game are so totally wrong. I’m glad that Jerry Buss brought back Phil and then went out and improved the bench. Steve Blake and Matt Barnes give the Repeat World Champion Lakers a big improvement in the bench and we’re seeing how the Lakers have become focused like a laser on accomplishing another Threeepeat next June. The Lakers have tremendous team chemistry, something that maybe in a few years the Three Little Losers of the Heatstroke might have if they don’t implode before that because their egos are too big for a championship team.

  2. fouldwimmerliak - Nov 11, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    The Heat are over-paid, over-hyped babies. They have over-taken the Lakers’ over-hyped status and the Lakers want it back. When it is over and done, the over-looked Lakers will again be the over-hyped kings. They do not wish to over-emphasis their motivation.

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