LA Lakers legend Magic Johnson has blamed owner Jim Buss for the team's recent problems.
The 54-year-old former point guard, who spent 13 seasons with the NBA outfit before coaching the team in 1994, believes the recent problems stem from Buss, while he also feels that general manager Mitch Kupchak lacks real control.
Johnson said that the Lakers would currently be performing better if they had someone like Jerry West, who coached the team between 1976 and 1979, on board.
“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," he told latimes.com.
“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 believes that having a charismatic individual as the face of the team is imperative, although he accepts that getting West to return would be tough.
“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. If Pat Riley's not there, you don't get LeBron to buy in.”
The former NBA star went on to claim that while Kupchak "is great", he simply "doesn't have the power".
He concluded: “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?”
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