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Magic Johnson is going to stop complaining about the Lakers. Finally.

Jan 31, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Season 22 Getty Images

Ripping the Lakers right now is about as challenging as ripping Qatar as a World Cup venue. You don’t even have to try.

That said, the voice of Magic Johnson shredding the Lakers — on twitter, most recently on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno — rings hollow. For a guy whose statue is outside Staples Center he spent a lot of time ripping the coach, players and everyone associated with the organization. He swung wildly on issues — remember he fully supported the hiring of Mike Brown when it happened — and of late he sounded like a drunk, frustrated fan at a bar complaining about everything. He was part of a foolish “the Lakers should be a contender every single year” mindset that is delusional. His already tedious twitter feed had been filled with Lakers blasts.

Finally, someone seems to have gotten through to him, that this wasn’t good for his image (and someday when the Dodgers’ struggle he wouldn’t enjoy the Karma). This is from Magic’s timeline on Thursday night.

The Lakers are not good right now but that’s about the talent on the floor, now what D’Antoni is doing with it. The plan for the Lakers is to go find elite talent the next couple years — somewhat via the draft but more via free agency the next couple summers — then when they have the talent decide who should coach it. Until then, D’Antoni’s style is entertaining and can help guys like Kendall Marshall thrive. It helps other guys put up inflated numbers that boosts their trade value. He’s a good fit for this team right now.

I don’t like saying Magic Johnson is wrong because he is my all-time favorite player, and he is a guy who has done more off the court for my city of Los Angeles than he did on the court (not to mention his helping change the image of HIV). I admire the man. But he should be smart enough to know where the Lakers really are in the process right now. This “the Lakers should never be anything but a contender” attitude is outdated and that more indicative of the drunk fan at the bar than any rational thought.

I’m glad Magic is moving on, so well all can.

  1. floriojr - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    thank god his Talk Show is cancelled.. The Magic Hour. what a joke that was. He has as much business hosting a late night show as I do playing point guard for the Lakers.

  2. urodaddy07 - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Not sure why he shouldn’t say what he wants to

  3. thraiderskin - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    I’m not annoyed with Magic Johnson’s opinion… I’m annoyed he has to give it. Yes, the player talent isn’t very good, but neither is the coaching. When DH left LA, the organization should have replaced D’antoni.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      Who would they replace him with? It’s not like there are a lot of great coaches sitting on the sidelines waiting for teams to call. And please don’t say Phil Jackson. He wouldn’t coach this team if you payed him $20 million a year – he doesn’t rebuild, he wins championships (and this roster is not a championship-quality roster).

      • stayhigh_247 - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:26 PM

        wrong! There are several good coaches out there that could get more from this unit in both the college and NBA ranks. George Karl for one, is a vast improvement over Damphony. Look at how Brad Stevens is teaching in Boston, look at Jeff Hornacek, everybody slept on his coaching skills. There are people out there, the Lakers just have to take the blinders off and look around. If they are going to suck anyway, why not go in a different coaching direction? K Love would be insane to leave Adelman for Damphony, so if he’s they guy they want, they better have a real coach on hand too. I love Kobe, but overpaying for a guy in his waning years in the league is not good business sense, they could of gotten a better deal out of it, it’s not like Kobe was gonna go play elsewhere anyway. I have no faith in Jim Buss and my Lakers are going to suck for the foreseeable future.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        @ fan


        The Van Gundy’s
        even Doug Collins.
        SugarHoneyIceTea, I’d even take on Byron Scott.

      • jimeejohnson - Jan 31, 2014 at 8:28 PM

        Sugarhoneyicetea? F+ck that, mmkay. Malt liquor for President.

      • coachjac30 - Feb 1, 2014 at 12:57 AM

        Malt I would have agreed with you up until you put Doug Collins on that list. He is a TERRIBLE coach.

      • fanofthegame79 - Feb 1, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        I’m sorry, I should have expounded more: there are good coaches out there, but many of the people you names are not looking to coach. The Van Gundy’s showed no interest. Was George Karl available when D’Antoni was hired? Doug Collins is enjoying his gig as a analyst. The only person that might have made sense was Byron Scott…but he was still employed by the Cavs. So at the time of the D’Antoni hiring, there weren’t many coaches out there (sans Phil Jackson, which I’m not sure if he would have helped).

      • fanofthegame79 - Feb 1, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        I agree that they overpaid Kobe. I know he’s done a lot for that team and city but it’s about winning and that tied up way too much money.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      DH leaving had more to do with him wanting to be “the man” and playing 2nd fiddle to Kobe than D’Antoni. You can try and blame the coach all you want but he has had NOTHING to work with since he came in.

      Lakers management has said they will give D’Antoni time, and players that fit his system, before they make a decision. If they give him the proper players, and then he fails, by all means fire him, but he has done the best he can with the crap that has been given to him

      • dinofrank60 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        Actually, you’re right. The Lakers FO has to give D’Antoni a fair shot; so far they haven’t. But the Lakers FO has to clearly explain what’s going on, otherwise there will be increasing discord between D’Antoni and the fanbase.

  4. antistratfordian - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    “It doesn’t do the Lakers players, coaches or ownership any good for me to complain.”

    Actually, it does… or you can accept it and support dysfunction and become the Knicks.

    • dinofrank60 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      Didn’t you know? Rolling over is what clear thinking, rational, mature people do. Accepting your lot, in the long run, is best for all involved, going against the grain is so counterproductive. You should’ve gotten the memo a long time ago.

      • jimeejohnson - Jan 31, 2014 at 8:29 PM

        Sticky note was defective.

  5. dinofrank60 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    That’s OK, Earvin. There are plenty of Lakers fans that will continue to criticize the organization.

  6. dinofrank60 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    D’Antoni’s style is not entertaining. They don’t rebound and don’t play defense. When they miss, the ball just flies the other way. That is, if they aren’t giving up points in the paint.

    I realize that MDA hasn’t much to work with, but I would think there would be some adjustments. This team is horrible to watch on a consistent basis.

    BTW, if every team took the attitiude that they should be a contender, the NBA would be a better league. Look how long it took the Oakland Warriors to figure that out.

  7. asimonetti88 - Jan 31, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    I respect Magic for the same reasons Kurt mentioned, he means a lot to this city off the court, but he is an awful announcer/commentator. He is a classic example of why great players don’t always make great coaches/GMs. Definitely my favorite player of all time though, and a great human being overall.

  8. kb2408 - Jan 31, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    Thank Goodness, Ervin! To hear one of my favorite athletes ever constantly criticize the franchise he claims to love was very disheartening. It was to the point where it appeared that Magic had some kind of personal vendetta against the organization. LAKER fans get that he was closer to Dr. Buss than he is to Jim. And that he is fond of Phil and doesn’t think very highly of Mike D, but enough is enough. He was starting to come off as petty and vindictive, IMO.

    • dinofrank60 - Jan 31, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      But that’s not going to stop Lakers fans from criticizing D’Antoni. D’Antoni, in turn, will defend himself. Which would be more defense than his team shows on the court.

    • legend30 - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      Boooo hooooo


  9. louhudson23 - Jan 31, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    That “contend every year” line of thinking is one of the reasons they have not only contended so often for so long,but won so many titles. Excellence from top to bottom is required,and THE top is not excellent. I have no doubt Magic understands that teams have down times and transition periods and that now is one for the Lakers. That doesn’t mean that Magic can’t make sure they know that the expectations do not change,even if the quality of the roster does,nor does it mean he or anyone else should like it, or do more than grudgingly accept it.. Complacency and check cashing,be it the owner,the coach or the players is unacceptable,and given the chance,that is where this goes if left unchecked……..It’s not the Laker way…..and as a Celtic’s fan for several decades,I have seen it firsthand…

  10. ranfan12 - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    “because offensively he’s put the Lakers’ players in positions to be successful!”
    lol offensively

  11. legend30 - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Lakers fans are bunch of crybabies… “Why is Magic making fun of the Lakers!?!?!?” Calm down, he’s only speaking the truth.

    • jimeejohnson - Jan 31, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      NY on the left coast.

      • jimeejohnson - Jan 31, 2014 at 8:38 PM

        (Yeah right: NY’s like Iceland and LA’s like Fiji)

  12. 00maltliquor - Jan 31, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Social media can sometimes do more harm then good. I’m glad I don’t have a FB, snitchagram, twitter, etc. Because of that, I didn’t even know Magic was talking s hi t to begin with. Not that it matters.

    • jimeejohnson - Jan 31, 2014 at 8:36 PM

      I don’t do those social media sites, either. Not that there’s anything wrong with them. Me and you are slightly outdated, but when it comes to the malt beverage, malt liquor rules!

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 31, 2014 at 10:01 PM

        It’s the best. You can’t even dispute it. This is not opinion, it is fact. Cheers!

  13. shanelsweet - Jan 31, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    I figured that by now the Nick Young show would be wearing thin on Lakers fans. One thing about Nick, he has fun whether it’s winning or losing. When he was with the McGee and Blatch on the Wizards, it got old watching him enjoying himself while making the franchise guy John Wall shake his head every night in frustration. Maybe I was counting on Kobe getting on him, but he’s been hurt. So far, Lakers fans still seem entertained by him. He a nice guy to be around, I’m sure, but don’t you have to hate losing to be a winner?

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 1, 2014 at 3:03 AM

      Nick Young’s played hard for us every night. I’ve been happy with him during his time here, I hope he sticks around and doesn’t opt out. I don’t even want to think about how bad we’d be without him on the roster!

      Now you don’t want him to be your teams leading scorer/#1 option, that’s part of how you get a 16-31 team halfway through the season, but off the bench on a good team as a scoring punch would be perfect.

  14. billtetley53 - Feb 1, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    Malt, is it true that it tastes the best while drank with a paper bag over it in the street corner?

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      Somewhat true, yes.

  15. adoombray - Feb 1, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    I am really tired of the “everything he did for HIV” fallacy. No. He did nothing for HIV. He caught it and can afford the best healthcare money can buy so he’s fine. He might be the first guy the press built up to be The Face of HIV, but the truth is he was completely irresponsible in an era where risks for these things were already known and famous people had already died from it.

    Him “doing things for HIV” would have been to invest his vast piles of wealth into making the prescription drugs cheaper and helping other people with it. Instead he bought the Dodgers and gets paid for his basketball knowledge from 20 years ago in an era (hand checking) so different from the current one I don’t care about his opinions on any team, let alone the Lakers.

  16. dinofrank60 - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    I think Lakers fans are being told to shut up and support D’Antoni. In a indirect way, but that’s the message that’s seeping out.

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