Over the past few years, Magic Johnson has been highly critical of the Los Angeles Lakers and has had no problem letting everyone know how he feels about the situation. Magic feels the franchise is heading into a make-or-break off-season in which major moves need to be made.
On Tuesday, Magic made an appearance on ESPN’s First Take to talk about all things Lakers with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. Johnson began by talking about what needs to be done this summer:
“I think this summer has to be the biggest summer of Jim Buss’ life because now you’re starting to lose the fan base. So if he doesn’t have a big summer with a free agent, looks like they’ll have a good draft pick, put that together with a free agent, you can be right back into the mix. If this summer that doesn’t happen, where they can sign a great player, I think it’s over for us because this will be the third year I believe and you just can’t recover.”
Johnson also went on to say this will be a historic off-season, for better or worse, and the team needs to send out Kobe Bryant the right way:
“So this is the biggest summer to me of Laker history right now. We must be back relevant by signing a big free agent and get a good draft pick. Send Kobe out the right way. This is his last season, next season.”
With the Lakers headed toward a franchise-worst record, the team needs to right the ship immediately. Pairing another star with Kobe for one season isn’t going to be good enough as there’s no telling how much is left in the tank for the face of the franchise.
Los Angeles is in the unusual position of needing to rebuild with young talent through the NBA Draft and may have the opportunity to do so with numerous draft picks potentially at their disposal. A considerable amount of cap space may also come in handy with some big-name players set to hit the open market, but it remains uncertain the level of interest of these players in coming to Los Angeles only to rebuild.[divide]
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