Magic Johnson’s Foolish Advice is Now Coming Back to Haunt the Lakers

The 2021-22 season has unfolded nowhere near what the Los Angeles Lakers anticipated after a busy offseason. The Lakers are floundering in the back end of the Western Conference playoff picture grasping at straws, trying to find a way forward.

Not even LeBron James‘ stellar play in his 19th campaign is enough to guide them toward a stable postseason spot. Instead, the Lakers sit filled with remorse over questionable decision-making headlined by acquiring Russell Westbrook.

Now it’s come to light that Hall of Famer Magic Johnson may have played a part in further sinking the franchise due to foolish advice.

Lakers are falling well short of NBA title expectations

With the All-Star break days away, the Lakers sit facing serious doubt whether the team can reach the playoffs, let alone contend for an NBA title.

Injuries have played a significant factor in the team’s shortcomings. However, the roster hasn’t gelled together anywhere near what the organization hoped. Los Angeles sits in the ninth spot, holding a 26-31 record.

The Russell Westbrook trade has quickly turned into a disaster as the nine-time All-Star hasn’t found any rhythm or firm role within the game plan.

The Lakers hold no defensive identity under Vogel, ranking tied for 26th giving up 112.6 points per contest and 27th allowing 25.9 assists per game. All that combined with inactivity at the trade deadline have poured more fuel on the fire concerning drama.

On top of that, it appears Hall of Famer Magic Johnson may have played a role in putting the franchise into the difficult position.

Magic Johnson’s foolish advice is haunting the Lakers

As the Lakers limped through the first two months of the season, team owner Jeanie Buss reached out to Magic Johnson for advice.

Johnson again served as a sounding board which previously led him to become the team’s president of basketball operations for nearly two years before surprisingly stepping down from the position. In December, the Hall of Famer dished out advice, suggesting that Buss give the big three time to gel together.

“I just sat down with him,” Buss told The Athletic. “and I said, ‘Should I be concerned? What are you seeing?’ And he just talked about, you know, the injuries and that the team hadn’t had a chance to be together…So, you know, he’s very calm and insightful. And it, you know, I appreciate his seeing the big picture instead of reacting to every game.”

Johnson surely didn’t envision the Lakers dealing with constant injuries that have played a significant factor. James has missed 17 contests, while Davis sat out 17 consecutive games. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook hasn’t budged from his playing style to coincide with the team’s needs.

His struggles shooting the ball and decision-making late have contributed to his inability to fit smoothly into the fold. The Lakers sit stuck with Westbrook through the rest of the season, while the supporting cast has failed to provide stable production.

Buss and the front office’s decision to let the situation play out have put the franchise in a precarious spot where failing to contend for an NBA title is a highly realistic outcome.

Lakers sit destined for an offseason headline by significant change

Johnson is likely singing a much different tone as it’s become clear that Russell Westbrook doesn’t fit the mold.

That doesn’t mean the Lakers are not committed to the all-in approach to finish the 2021-22 season. The front office will attempt to add talent through the buyout to aid those efforts further. Head coach Frank Vogel will likely receive extended leeway to prove he can guide the franchise to NBA title contention.

However, the Lakers appear destined for an early playoff exit. LeBron James is proving that he’s an ageless wonder with 22 straight games scoring at least 25 points, but there hasn’t been much that draws optimism.

Anthony Davis has displayed encouraging stretches on both ends of the floor while Malik Monk is providing an offensive spark. Beyond that, the Lakers are stumbling endlessly due to inconsistency.

All those factors have Los Angeles headed toward another busy offseason with Westbrook and Vogel first on the chopping block unless things drastically change.

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