Despite some improvements, the Los Angeles Lakers are on pace to miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. With Jim Buss’ self-imposed deadline to return the Lakers to contention coming up, many believe some changes are in store for the franchise, and the recent hiring of Magic Johnson as an advisor only furthered those beliefs.
Johnson had been very critical of Buss in the media, openly questioning some of his decisions. Though Buss did say he was looking forward to working with Magic for many years, Johnson has already spoken about eventually wanting to call the shots for the Lakers.
Before Magic was hired he met with president Jeanie Buss and in an interview with CBS This Morning, Johnson revealed what he told her about the direction the franchise was headed (transcribed by Pro Basketball Talk):
“I began to tell her what I felt about the team and the direction that the team was headed, and I didn’t think it was in a good direction.”
Johnson’s thoughts shouldn’t come as any surprise considering the comments he has made in public, but it certainly doesn’t bode well for the futures of Jim Buss and possibly general manager Mitch Kupchak. Johnson believes that Buss didn’t have the Lakers on the right path and it is becoming more difficult to see him continuing with the franchise after this season.
The Lakers do have a very nice collection of young talent, however, as they have drafted well in recent years. Additionally, the hiring of Luke Walton looks to be a good one so far as he has brought the best out of this young core and has the team believing in themselves.
Even though they are years away from being a contender, the Lakers will be one of the most watched teams this offseason.