“This is what happens when you make the wrong decisions, two coaching wrong decisions, giving Steve Nash that deal, it’s backfired,” Johnson said during a meeting at The Times between Dodgers officials and Times writers and editors. Johnson is a part owner of the Dodgers.
“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 acknowledged that getting West to return would be difficult, but added that having an empowered person in the general manager's role is critical. “You need to get someone like Jerry to be the face, so agents are comfortable, players are comfortable, knowing the Lakers are going for a championship….
“Look what Pat Riley did in Miami,” referring to the former Lakers coach who assembled the current team featuring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
“If Pat Riley’s not there, you don’t get LeBron to buy in.”
Johnson said that current Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak is doing a good job. “Mitch is great,” he said, “but he doesn’t have the power.”
Johnson also added, “Everybody’s telling me free agents don’t want to sign [with the Lakers]…. They’re looking at the Lakers now as a team that’s dysfunctional; who’s their leader, who’s the guy?”
The Lakers (14-24) are in one of the worst slumps in franchise history. They have lost 11 of their last 12 games and have fewer victories than all but two teams in the Western Conference.
“Dr. Buss was smart,” Johnson said. “He said, ‘I’m going to get the best dude, Jerry West, and he helped me achieve my goals. Then I went and got the best coach [in Phil Jackson]. He wanted to work with the best.”
I know a few fans will get upset at Magic because he is slamming your Precious Lakers but He is speaking truth here.
Jerry Buss surrounded himself with the best basketball minds in the game and sat back and watched. I am really surprised Jimbo didn't learn anything from his father. He Should put the basketball minds in charge of basketball operations and go do what he is best at (Playing with his horses down at the track)
IMO You put Phil Jackson in the "Riley" type role. His name (Along with the Lakers legacy) would attract Many stars around the League.
Bring the respect and pride back to this organization.