Magic Johnson: Kobe Bryant Should Sit Rest of Season, Blames Jim Buss For Lakers Struggles [VIDEO]
on Jan 16, 2014 12:55 PM EST
Magic Johnson is advising Kobe Bryant to take the rest of the season off, insisting this year's L.A. Lakers team is so flawed he wouldn't have anything to play for even if he rushed back from his latest knee injury.
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The Hall of Fame guard and Laker legend also didn't mince any words in revealing he feels owner Jim Buss bears the bulk of the blame for the team's newfound struggles.
"This is what happens when you make the wrong decisions, two coaching wrong decisions, giving Steve Nash that deal, it's backfired," Johnson told the L.A. Times of the Lakers 14-25 struggles this season. "The biggest problem they're going to have right now ... you've got to get a guy like Jerry West to be the face of the team. ... You've got to have someone helping Jim. He's got to quit trying to prove a point to everybody that he can do it on his own, get his ego out of it, and just say, 'Let me get someone beside me to help achieve the goals I want.'"
Johnson, who spent 13 seasons in L.A. playing for the younger Buss' father, Dr. Jim Buss, later added in support of his theory to have the Hall of Fame West return to the organization "look what Pat Riley did in Miami. If Pat Riley's not there, you don't get LeBron to buy in."
As for Bryant, Johnson told The Times "he's got to," when asked if he should sit the rest of the season. "What is he coming back to? He's not going to be able to stop the pick and roll, all the layups the Lakers are giving up. He's been hurt twice, give him the whole year to get healthy."