Magic Johnson calls out Jim Buss
The Lakers were looking like a mess until beating the Mavericks Wednesday night in Dallas. First, Kobe Bryant said the trade rumors were affecting Pau Gasol, so he told management to finally decide the big man’s future. General Manager Mitch Kupchak responded and said Gasol was still on the block. Kobe was not happy with the answer, but he was proud to have his teammate’s back.
Meanwhile, Lakers owner and executive Jim Buss, who Magic Johnson says is running the team, has remained silent. Magic called out Buss for allowing the situation to fester.
“Jim Buss, I’m very disappointed in you,” Magic said on ESPN. “When a superstar, your best player on your team, Kobe Bryant, has issues and problems, you should discuss it with him privately to make sure you calm him down. Then, Kobe would have calmed the other Laker players down. Then you should have met with the Laker team and see if they have any problems or if they have any questions so you can answer those questions.
“Right now, a lack of communication between you as the owner, and the players, should never happen.
“The Lakers have a history of being a first-class organization, an organization that kept everything in-house, not out in the public like it is right now. Jim Buss, get on your job, and do a great job,” Johnson concluded.
During a talk with the media before the game, Magic also made suggestions for how Jim Buss should handle things, but his sharpest criticism came on TV.
What’s interesting is that Magic is still a Lakers employee, so he is actually criticizing his boss. He has the clout to voice his opinion, and it’s nice he said what many players and fans were already thinking. Maybe this will cause Jim Buss to listen.