Magic Johnson has had no issue speaking about Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations, Jim Buss, in the past.
Johnson has been critical of Buss and whether he is capable of returning the Lakers back to glory and he decided to speak out again.
While he wasn’t completely critical of Buss, Johnson indicated that he believes Buss should just be the owner of the Lakers instead of being in charge of basketball operations according to Mike Bresnahan and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:
I’m going to say it again: I love Jim Buss. He should just be the owner, like his dad was just the owner,” Johnson said. “Let’s go back with facts, so I can back this up with facts: 27 wins a couple years ago, 21 wins last year. Three summers now, we haven’t signed anybody. I am backing this up with facts. We haven’t signed any superstar. We’ve had cap space. We had cap space last summer. We’re going to have more this summer.”
Johnson also added that Buss simply needs to play his role:
You’ve got to get somebody to help [Buss] out,” said Johnson, an unpaid Lakers vice president. “Just play your role. There’s nothing wrong with being a great owner.”
Jim Buss has been a primary target of fans and certain media members for the past couple of seasons now. While some of the criticism is probably unfair, he will always be subject to it as long as all basketball decisions go through him.
Jim’s father, Jerry, surrounded himself with great basketball minds such as Jerry West and allowed them to make the decisions, which is what Magic is calling for Jim to do here. That trust, and the championships that came from it, has led many to call Buss the greatest owner of all-time.
Jim has his self-imposed deadline to return the Lakers to championship contention, and the team seems far away from even challenging for a playoff spot, so the pressure is on.
(H/T: Dodger Blue)