Jim Buss, executive VP of basketball operations and part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, has fired back at Magic Johnson for criticizing the current state of the Purple & Gold.
Buss has been subjected to ridicule ever since Dr Jerry Buss, his late father, handed him the reigns of the team in 2012. Buss has been criticized for allowing personal thoughts interfere with basketball operations. In a tell-all interview with USA Today, Buss addressed the current state of the Lakers but not before taking a dig at Magic. “Magic Johnson going nuts on me?” said a hysterical Buss. “It’s like, ‘Really, dude? My dad made you a billionaire almost. Really? Where are you coming from?’ “
Johnson, who sold his share of the Lakers in 2010, earned approximately $43 million during his playing days when he brought home five NBA championships to LA. Two years later, Johnson and his ownership group paid $2billion for the Dodgers. Johnson shared a father-son bond with Dr Buss and has broken ties with the Lakers since the demise of the late owner. “Dr Buss gave me the platform to be Magic,” he told LA Times in 2013 after Dr Buss’ death. “He gave me the knowledge to be Magic.”
Johnson, regarded by many as the greatest Laker of all time, hasn’t refrained from blaming Jim for the Lakers’ plight. In 2012, Johnson blasted Buss for hiring Mike D’Antoni ahead of Phil Jackson. In the following years, Johnson went on several TV and radio shows and said Buss had failed to bring his beloved franchise back to relevancy.
The Lakers, in their illustrious history, have never missed the postseason for three consecutive seasons. Having plummeted to the bottom of the Western Conference with a 48-116 record the last two seasons, the forthcoming season doesn’t look very promising either.
When asked about Buss’ criticism, Johnson issued a statement to USA Today. “It’s all about winning, Jim,” said Johnson.
All of the @Lakers fans around the world just want the Lakers to get back to their winning tradition!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 20, 2015