Magic Johnson made yet another stop on the media tour he’s been on since it was announced he would be joining the Los Angles Lakers in an advisory role to both the business and basketball operations teams. This time, he jumped on ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Show and, once again, he had plenty to say.
His statements lately have fueled seemingly endless speculation that only evolves further as he speaks more. At some point, it’s probably in everyone’s best interests that he stop making these appearances so that the rest of the organization can maybe catch up to the ideas he has for it, but why let logic get in the way of a story.
In his appearance with Stephen A. Smith, Johnson went over many of the talking points he’s gone with on this media gauntlet. This, however, he added a little bit of something that had to strike Jim Buss where it hurt just a little more when asked about why he took on this responsibility.
“We have to remember that Dr. Jerry Buss treated me like his own son, and he raised Jeanie and I together. And so I was around when he was grooming Jeanie to become, one day, like she is now, the person who is running the Lakers. The reason that I’m coming back in this advisory role is because of the that I’m doing it for myself, for the organization, for the fans, but also for Dr. Jerry Buss, too, because, you know, if he was here, he would be so disappointed in what he’s seeing.”
Now, it’s worth pointing out that Jerry Buss probably wouldn’t be all that proud of his daughter putting his son through the public embarrassment she has in not only hiring Magic, but allowing him to go on this media tour without inside knowledge of how the basketball operations team has been working. When Jim and Magic meet Monday, it might be kind of hard to move forward seeing as the latter has so publicly stated his intentions in this situation.
From the basketball side of things, it’s easy to fire that kind of shot when at no point in Jerry’s time owning the Lakers was the NBA this competitive across the board. That context matters.
Once everything at play is understood, then that last bit of the quote can be properly analyzed. Yes, Dr. Jerry would hate to see how his Lakers have fallen. One would imagine he would listen to those he put in place for reasons as to why they are where they are. As easy as it is to say he’d be disappointed, it makes just as much sense to say he probably wouldn’t have rushed this kind of knee-jerk move with so little planning as a reaction, either.