Magic Johnson owns the Los Angeles Dodgers. As far as his big time sports investments go, that’s it. He no longer owns any stake in the Los Angeles Lakers, and he likely hasn’t been consulted on personnel decisions in a long, long time. Despite that, Magic is still very closely associated with all things purple and gold, which means when something big happens, his opinion on that specific something will be sought out.
While appearing on ESPN's "NBA Countdown" recently, Magic offered his take on the Mike D’Antoni hiring.
"I love Dr. (Jerry) Buss. I don't believe in Jim Buss," Johnson said. "He's made two critical mistakes already. To me, they made two critical mistakes.
"First, hiring Mike Brown -- he wasn't the right coach. He's a great coach but not the right coach for the Lakers. And I don't feel Mike D'Antoni is the right coach for the Lakers. Especially when you have Phil Jackson sitting out there, who wanted to be the Laker coach. Jim Buss decided he didn't want Phil Jackson, he wanted Mike D'Antoni. And that's OK, but why didn't you just say that? But the fans were cheering for Phil Jackson two nights in a row."
A lot of people would obviously echo that sentiment, and that’s fine. It’s an opinion. Magic is entitled to his, just like anyone else would be. But his opinion shouldn’t be considered any more information-based or relevant than that of any other Lakers supporter. Because that's all he is now: a Lakers supporter. The fans cheering for Phil Jackson makes him a more worthy candidate than D’Antoni? Really? That’s not to say that Phil Jackson isn’t a more worthy option – he is. It’s just that the logic Magic is using to come to that conclusion is stupid.
Frankly, you would expect a guy with Magic’s pedigree to understand that fans are fans. The boys upstairs make the calls that need to be made because that’s their job, and they’re the ones who have to live with the consequences. And if all he has to say on the matter is, “the fans were cheering for Phil Jackson” and thus he should have been the coach, then really he doesn’t have anything to say at all.
Which is what appears to be the case here.