The Los Angeles Lakers lost their 49th game of the season on Friday night as they careen towards a third consecutive season with a new worst record in franchise history. The team ranks second to last in the league in offensive efficiency and last in defensive efficiency, and things are so bad that head coach Byron Scott recently decided to scrap the entire offense and start from scratch.
Fans of the franchise with the second most championships in league history have grown to expect more, which has led many to criticize Lakers vice president of basketball operations and part owner Jim Buss. Buss' sister, Jeanie Buss, recently reiterated that she would hold her brother to his commitment to build the team into a contender by the summer of 2017 or step down, and she is not the only high profile member of the Lakers' family whose comments are leading to public pressure against her brother.
Legendary Lakers point guard Magic Johnson has also never been afraid to tweak Jim Buss publicly, and his latest volley came in the form of a tweet on Saturday night after watching (or at least looking at the box score of) potentially the best game of the year between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder:
Kevin Durant scored 37pts against the Warriors tonight! I hope the Lakers' Jim Buss was watching, because that's who we need next season.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 28, 2016
Magic is certainly right that Kevin Durant would help the Lakers next season, but somehow I don't think Jim Buss was on the fence about that revelation before Durant's performance against the Warriors on Saturday.
This appears to simply be the latest episode of Johnson attempting to, for whatever reason, push the narrative that Buss is a failure and increase public pressure against him. His motives are unknown, but such a high-profile and respected former player continuing to push the storyline that Buss doesn't know what he's doing certainly isn't raising the already minuscule chances of Durant coming to Los Angeles as a free agent this summer.
All stats per NBA.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.