Kobe Bryant defends Jim Buss against Magic Johnson criticism
Magic Johnson seems to have made it his mission as of late to criticize Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss as much as possible. On Wednesday, Magic wrote on Twitter that he had been silent for a few days because he was mourning the Lakers’ decision to hire Mike D’Antonio over Phil Jackson. If that seems a bit dramatic, that’s because it is.
Kobe Bryant does not agree with the Laker legend.
“(Johnson’s) opinion is valued greater than most others because of what he’s done here with this franchise,” Bryant said Thursday according to the L.A. Times. “I can only speak from my perspective in my dealings with Jim. He’s been phenomenal. He’s seemingly made all the right choices. Going back in time, I’m sure he would have called me and consulted me on the Mike Brown hiring but that is what it is. Other than that, he’s been behind some pretty good moves, some pretty good trades for this organization.”
Johnson, who also ripped Buss for the way he was running the Lakers back in February, said he loves Jim’s father Jerry Buss but that Jim has made two critical mistakes already — one when he hired Brown and the other when he hired D’Antoni over Jackson.
Kobe’s comments would seem to indicate that Buss consulted him on the D’Antoni hiring and Kobe was fine with it. Jackson would have made sense for obvious reasons, but he was reportedly trying to use his leverage to make the Lakers fullfil some outrageous demands. D’Antoni makes more sense in the long-term and also has an existing relationship with Bryant and Dwight Howard from the Olympics, so the decision to hire him was not as catastrophic as Magic is making it sound.