When Magic Johnson sent a celebratory tweet after Mike D’Antoni announced he is resigning from his position as Los Angeles Lakers head coach on Wednesday, most of us felt the same way. D’Antoni wasn’t exactly put in a position to succeed, so it was kind of cruel for Magic to dance on his grave like that. Charles Barkley alluded to that on “Inside the NBA” Wednesday night.
“Magic Johnson’s bigger than that. Magic Johnson’s bigger than that,” Barkley said, via For the Win. “Listen, Mike D’Antoni is a good coach. They didn’t give him a lot to work with. But Magic Johnson, he’s bigger than that.”
Magic has been unhappy with the state of the Lakers for quite some time now. He has expressed disappointment with Jim Buss, blamed D’Antoni and blamed the players. But it’s not D’Antoni’s fault that Kobe Bryant has suffered two serious injuries that ended back-to-back seasons. Barkley pointed that out while talking to co-host Ernie Johnson.
“The Lakers weren’t going to win with Phil Jackson, either, Ernie,” Barkley added. They don’t have good players. … We know Phil Jackson’s arguably the greatest coach ever. The Lakers don’t have players, Ernie. They’re not a good team. Kobe Bryant is one of the 10 greatest players ever. He’s never going to be what he was. They don’t have good players. I’m not sure if Phil Jackson really wanted that job. The Lakers stink, and they’re going to stink.”
I agree. D’Antoni obviously hasn’t utilized Pau Gasol to the best of his abilities, but you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s—. Magic didn’t need to kick him while he was down.