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Trial Coaching Stint Doesn't Quite Cut It

April 23, 1994

I realize this is Los Angeles and Magic Johnson is held a notch higher than God in esteem, but how about a little "objectivity in reporting?"

Johnson took over the Lakers on a lark. He took the job on a trial basis--sort of like ordering a Ginsu knife. I guess. His "commitment to coaching the Lakers" was superseded by other plans "he just couldn't get out of," causing him to miss the Portland game.

When the Lakers had a shot to catch the Nuggets, he was all smiles, talking about "how much he liked this group of guys."

Then the Lakers went into the tank and Johnson announced he wouldn't be back, which just happened to coincide with the Lakers' elimination from the playoffs. He then called the players quitters and went on to talk about how NBA players have gotten petty and selfish since he left the league.

If Johnson's "coaching career" was anything more than a batch of soggy, nostalgic hype, show me one shred of proof. This isn't basketball, it's high farce.

When the Lakers tip off in November, they'll be shown another system by another coach. Maybe the next one will make up his mind that he wants to stick around for a few games before he hits the hardwood.


Los Angeles


The only things memorable about the Magic Johnson coaching era are his ties.


Woodland Hills


I was certain when I read Sunday's headline "Me-Me-Me-Me . . . ," someone was finally going to expose the selfish behavior of Magic Johnson. But no, it was about the players' selfish attitudes.

Well, I suppose it isn't selfish of Magic to make his comeback as a player or to make his debut as a coach to see if he liked it.

Just a thought, but maybe the players weren't buying Magic's motivation techniques, and there always is that threat of the players running the coach off. Remember Westhead (Magic does) or Riley? Maybe now Magic will stop disrupting the rebuilding process and perform his final act and disappear.


Playa Del Rey


Magic Johnson would be well advised to paraphrase a line from General MacArthur . . . "Old basketball players should just fade away."--"I'll never play again, yeah, I'm going to play again, no I'm not, I'm going to coach, no I'm not!"

Who needs it? . . . Who needs Magic?




Given Magic Johnson's recent struggles with the Lakers, there must be considerable consternation throughout the area: Suddenly, coaching might not be as easy as it was thought to be. Now, whom to blame?

Perhaps Jim Harrick should go on sabbatical for a year and let Bill Walton have a crack at coaching the Bruins. The result might shut up a lot of people.



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