Magic Johnson, Celtics, Lakers

Magic Johnson Salty Over Celtics Title; Lakers In ‘Disarray’?

The Celtics appear well-positioned to contend for titles over the next few years. The Lakers? Well, that's anybody's guess.

At least one person is less than thrilled that the Boston Celtics now have the most championship banners in NBA history: legendary former Lakers executive and point guard Magic Johnson.

As Sports Illustrated reported, Johnson took to Twitter/X to playfully voice his frustration over te Celts’ 18th banner.

“I hate that the Celtics officially have more championships than us now.” Johnson wrote, punctuating the statement with an eye-roll emoji. In contrast to the Celtics, who have been on consistent deep runs in the playoffs under Joe Mazzulla and Ime Udoka, the Lakers have been up and down since it won the Bubble championship in 2020. 

After firing head coach Darvin Ham, who led the Lakers to an improbable playoff run in the 2022-2023 season, the Lakers have been ridiculed for their approach to hiring a head coach. As reported by Awful Announcing, some pundits, like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, have insinuated that Lakers star LeBron James may shoulder some blame for undermining Ham’s standing in the organization. 

Regardless of how much blame James may or may not carry, an objective look at the last few years for the Lakers reveals a franchise in disarray, including a 2022 report from NBC Sports detailing the reason Los Angeles native Demar DeRozan declined to sign with the franchise after he conducted a visit during his free agency.

According to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, “I talked to someone from DeRozan’s camp when DeRozan was in town in L.A., and he stuck it to the Lakers. And the impression I got from his camp was that DeRozan felt that the Lakers were in sort of disarray. They didn’t really have a vision. They didn’t know what they were doing.”

Johnson was involved with the DeRozan discussions, and in some capacity or other, so were owner Jeanie Buss, general manager Rob Pelinka, Kurt Rambis, Linda Rambis, CEO Tim Harris, and former Lakers coach Phil Jackson. T

he Lakers organization has also exhibited little patience with head coaches. Before the hiring of Ham in 2022, Frank Vogel was fired after coaching two years after the team’s pandemic championship season. Ham lasted two seasons.

Amid rumors that Ham was unpopular with players in the Lakers locker room, a report detailing Ham’s return as the lead assistant to the Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers revealed that players in Milwaukee loved him due to his willingness to have honest conversations.

According to Sam Amick, a reporter for The Athletic, Anthony Davis (AD) may have had more to do with Ham’s firing than James.

“When they chose to fire Darvin Ham, I was told that one of the many, many considerations was that it was pretty evident that AD was not on board anymore with Darvin, and they know, like everybody else, that AD has a history of having asked for trades in the past,” Amick said. “That’s how he got to the Lakers from New Orleans. Last thing they wanted was for AD to be frustrated with the situation and maybe have those types of thoughts cross his mind.”