Lakers have been in decline over the past two seasons…
Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson has insisted that executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss needs to seek help to rebuild the team.
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Johnson admitted that he had serious questions over Buss’ ability to turn the team around and he has pleaded with him to seek help, even if it is from current veteran star Kobe Bryant.
“Jim is trying to do it himself and trying to prove to everybody that this was the right decision that my dad gave me the reins,” Johnson said Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take.”
“He’s not consulting anybody that can help him achieve his goals and dreams to win an NBA championship.”
Buss became the Lakers’ executive vice president of basketball operations after his father, legendary owner Jerry Buss, died in February 2013.
However, his tenure has coincided with one of the worst periods in the franchise’s history as they posted a franchise-high 55 losses last season and at 13-39 this year, they are on course to lose even more games this time round.
Johnson put the pressure on Buss to have a big summer and urged him to land a top free agent to go along with their Draft pick as only then will they have an opportunity to compete next year.
The Lakers have enough salary-cap space to sign at least one max-level free agent this summer, with the likes of Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Goran Dragic and Rajon Rondo all on the market.
However, Johnson added that if the front office are unable to land one of their preferred targets, then Bryant should consider retiring and not returning next season.
“And I really believe this: [Kobe] should … say to Jim and them, ‘Look, if you don’t sign one of these free agents [this offseason], man, I’m just not going to play next year,'” Johnson added.
The 55-year-old added that he likes Buss as a person, but he feels as though given that he wasn’t around the franchise growing up like his sister, Jeanie, he is at a disadvantage of trying to run it now.
Johnson insisted that his comments were not part of an elaborate plan to gain more influence and power within the organisation, but he feels as though unless Buss puts people around him to help him achieve his goals, then the Lakers are effectively doomed.