His system doesn’t fit the talent that the Lakers have. You can’t run with this team. Who are the runners? You’ve got one guy who can get up and down the court and that’s Kobe (Bryant).
When Gasol was on that (low) block, he averaged 18 points, he shot 53 percent from the field and he still is the best passing big man in the game. But you have him at the free-throw line? That makes no sense. That’s not his game. His game is to catch it on the low block, face his man, one dribble left or right. He’s got great moves. But now all the blame is on his shoulders, like he’s not performing well? He can’t take that. That’s not who he is.
What he needs to do is say, ‘Look, I have a certain philosophy but I don’t have the type of players to play that scheme and that system. But I do have two of the best seven-footers in the game.
It’s a long season. We can’t count out coach D’Antoni or the Lakers. We want to see signs that this thing is turning around. He’s waiting for Steve Nash to return. We’ll wait and see what happens when Steve Nash returns. We’re all spoiled. I’m the first to admit that I’m spoiled with the success of the Lakers. You sit there and you say, ‘Man, this can’t happen to our Lakers.’"
Magic Johnson on D’Antoni’s use of Gasol and the unfair blame put on his production
Kareem, Magic, Worthy at Kareem’s statue unveiling, and in the past.
Showtime’s Big 3.
The Magic Hour
Magic elevated everyone’s game, and not just by setting them up with assists. His energy was infectious.
He cared about winning like Kobe and Jordan, but his teammates had fun playing with him, like LeBron. The best of both worlds.
June 19, 2000: Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Indiana Pacers 4-2 in the 2000 NBA Finals.
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
The greatest video of the greatest point guard ever.
“Magic Johnson: Golden Wizard”
Might I add, the most telling quote that I heard last night after the game was Magic Johnson. We all know Magic spoke out in the Denver series saying the Mike Brown would get fired if we lost that series, and it was kind of like, “ok Magic. Chill.” Then yesterday he said this, and it was like he was speaking what all of us are thinking:
Everybody thinks I hit on coach Mike Brown. I like him, I really do. But he’s not a great in-game adjustment coach like a Phil Jackson or Pat Riely. … The Lakers never made any adjustments.
The biggest offense in Game 4 was Mike setting Pau up 20 feet away from the basket, setting picks for Steve Blake instead of down on the block. I repeat, setting picks for Steve Blake (more on this later). Everyone knows that the Lakers aren’t a p&r team. They don’t run it very well, nor do they even defend it very well.
Not to mention that the guards couldn’t even get the ball in to Andrew Bynum, who was being fronted. Not quite sure how NBA guards can’t get the ball in to a man on the post being fronted, and I really am not sure why Mike Brown doesn’t have the players swing the ball and set Bynum up on the opposite side.
As for the Steve Blake issue, why was he on the court in the fourth?? I understand you have rotations, and in late-game situations those are usually set, but Ramon Sessions was clearly the better guard for the Lakers. Early in Game 4 he routinely broke down the defense of the Thunder and got to the basket, either setting up a easy dunk/lay-up or getting one himself. Furthermore, if the Lakers ARE going to run a pick-and-roll with Pau, it’s Sessions who you should run it with, not Blake.
I won’t entirely rag on Mike Brown, because his hybrid defense worked very well against the Thunder in the first 3 quarters. But the Thunder still ended up with over 100 points, the Lakers had a very poor offensive 4th quarter, and a moral victory simply isn’t enough.
It’ll be interesting to see what adjustments Brown comes up with in a very important Game 5. I actually feel (in my heart, not in my head) that if the Lakers can somehow win Game 5, they can win the series. Silly me. Right?
NBA Playoffs Throwback: Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 1987 Western Conference quarterfinals, Game 1
Magic Johnson drills a miracle 80-footer before halftime of a game that the Lakers were winning 82-53. Don’t rub your eyes. You read that correctly. Also, Chick Hearn. No surprise that Los Angeles sweeps the series, advancing to defeat Golden State, Seattle, and rival Boston Celtics for a 10th NBA title in franchise history.
The 2012 match-up begins with Game 1 on Sunday at 3:30pm EST on ESPN!
Magic Johnson, not a fan of the current Lakers line up.
Magic is never satisfied for the most part.
Official trailer for ESPN Films’ “The Announcement,” airing March 11 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN
A lot of us were probably too young to remember Magic coming out with the news that he had HIV, but it was huge. Beyond huge. After bringing attention to the disease that around that time was mostly associated with the lower class and homosexuals, Magic became the spokesperson for the fight against it. It was no long longer a disease for drug addicts, but something real, that anyone could get. Even the best NBA player in the world at that time. The awareness that he’s brought to HIV/AIDS is immense.