After going dark for the past two days, Magic Johnson has finally come out publicly to criticize the Lakers organization for not hiring Phil Jackson, while opting for Mike D’Antoni.
"I love Dr. (Jerry) Buss. I don't believe in Jim Buss," Johnson said on ESPN's "NBA Countdown" on Wednesday night. "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."
Mitch Kupchak, however, still believes that D’Antoni is the right man for the job.
"Without going into great detail, some of our guys, I don't think would be very successful in the Triangle," Kupchak said Tuesday. "Some of our newer players might take a long time to learn the Triangle."
Magic’s skepticism of D’Antoni, however, isn’t his 7-seconds or less high octane offense; it’s his lack of emphasis on defense. Magic knows better than anyone else, that showtime offense is fun to watch and play, but it’s 48 minutes of defense that wins championships at the end of the day - something that D'Antoni is going to have to emphasize if he wants to bring a championship back to LA.