Magic Johnson caught my attention last night while I was watching highlights of the Zack Greinke press conference. During the Q & A with Greinke, a reporter asked Magic if money would be an object in the Los Angeles Dodgers off-season plans, to which he bluntly replied:
“I can answer that real quick and let Zack get back. We wanna win.”
Johnson said this with a very serious look on his face, one that made me laugh, but only because it was so awesomely stated.
So no, money will not be an object that will get in the way of the Dodgers putting a better team on the field in 2013.
But what about Magic’s other team? The Los Angeles Lakers. While he doesn’t own the Lakers, he is still very much a part of their franchise.
One thing Magic also spoke very candidly about after the press conference was the Lakers use of Pau Gasol:
“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.”
“I’ve gotta adjust my system a little bit if I’m the coach. That’s all. 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.”
Sounds like a call-out of Mike D’Antoni to me. I wouldn’t label this as ‘taking a shot,’ but it’s a message clearly directed at D’Antoni. Who better to do such a thing? Magic sees what we all see, but he has the platform and the respect from the basketball community to make something happen in Los Angeles.
I guess it just kind of caught my attention to see one guy making so much noise for two teams in different sports. One moment Magic has his Dodgers hat on, the next he’s back voicing his opinion on his beloved Lakers. It’s just great to see someone with a great passion for winning.
Today is a different era in sports, much different than the cut-throat era that Magic came from. I like that he’s bringing the passion from his playing days back to the table any way he can. Is he throwing money around to make his baseball team better? Of course, why wouldn’t he. Magic is not the kind of guy to wait around for talent to develop. He wants to win now. It’s the same thing for the Lakers, they’re a team built to win now.
Magic is merely trying to facilitate and speed up that process for both of his teams any way that he can.