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Magic Johnson: Lakers hired wrong coach

The SportsXchange

Add Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson to the list of people who believe the team made the wrong coaching hire this week.

Johnson said Wednesday on ESPN's "NBA Countdown" that the Lakers should have brought back former coach Phil Jackson rather than hiring Mike D'Antoni to replace the first Mike Brown.

"I don't believe in Jim Buss," Johnson said, referring to the Lakers' executive vice president. "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."

Johnson also wrote on his Twitter account, "The reason I haven't tweeted in 2 days is because I've been mourning Phil Jackson not being hired as the Lakers head coach ... My mother always taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak interviewed Jackson for the job last weekend before hiring D'Antoni -- much to Jackson's surprise.

D'Antoni is scheduled to be introduced as the new coach at a Thursday press conference. He'll take over for interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who guided the team to a 2-1 record after Brown was fired following a 1-4 start.

Johnson, 53, played his entire 13-year pro career with the Lakers, leading the team to five NBA championships. He later held a part ownership in the franchise, but he sold his share of the club in 2010.

This year, Johnson became the front man for the group that bought the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion.
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