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Magic Johnson says he will stop complaining about the Lakers

The former star guard says complaining does no good and he will support and encourage Jim Buss and Coach Mike D'Antoni.

January 31, 2014|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers legend Magic Johnson and All-Star guard Kobe Bryant share a laugh during a Dodgers game last season.
Lakers legend Magic Johnson and All-Star guard Kobe Bryant share a laugh… (Harry How / Getty Images )

Magic Johnson will no longer complain about the Lakers. He promises.

Johnson took to Twitter to call a cease-fire on himself after weeks of probing, questioning and even haranguing the Lakers.

"I'm going to stop complaining. I'm going to support and encourage [team executive] Jim Buss and Coach [Mike] D'Antoni because I love the Lakers!" Johnson wrote Thursday night.

"It doesn't do the Lakers players, coaches or ownership any good for me to complain."

He also added, "I want to give Coach D'Antoni credit because offensively he's put the Lakers' players in positions to be successful!"

It's a rapid turn for Johnson after a rapid-fire month.

He started his barrage in mid-January while meeting with editors and writers at The Times to hype the upcoming Dodgers season as a part-owner of the team.

When asked about the Lakers, he couldn't hold back.

"This is what happens when you make the wrong decisions, two coaching wrong decisions, giving Steve Nash that deal, it's backfired," Johnson said at the time. "The biggest problem they're going to have right now … you've got to get a guy like Jerry West to be the face of the team.

"You've got to have someone helping Jim. He's got to quit trying to prove a point to everybody that he can do it on his own, get his ego out of it, and just say, 'Let me get someone beside me to help achieve the goals I want.'"

West was the Lakers' general manager from 1982 to 2000 and was hired a few years ago to be a consultant with Golden State.

Johnson, an unpaid vice president for the Lakers, has also been critical in recent weeks on Twitter, where he has more than 1.9 million followers.

He was annoyed when the Lakers lost to Chicago on an inbounds play last week.

"Only the Lakers let a man cut down the middle [and] score a layup with 0.9 seconds left in the game," he wrote.

D'Antoni not surprised

Of all the surprises this season, this wasn't one of them: Pau Gasol was left off the All-Star team.

D'Antoni thought he knew why. The Lakers were 14th in the Western Conference when the reserves were announced Thursday.

"When you're not in the top eight, top nine, I'm a firm believer that, you know what, numbers don't mean a whole lot if you're not winning," D'Antoni said Friday. "So you've got to be very careful about putting somebody on the All-Star team that doesn't have [victories]…unless you're in the East, probably."

Gasol, 33, played better in January, averaging 20.6 points and 12.1 rebounds before Friday's game against Charlotte.

"He's had All-Star numbers but he didn't have them all year. He had them the last couple of months," D'Antoni said. "To be fair to everybody else, it makes it tough."

Gasol, a four-time All-Star, hasn't made the team since 2011.

Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love were voted frontcourt starters in the Western Conference by fans. The West coaches picked Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge as reserves down low.

The point guards

Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar won't all be ready to play Tuesday at Minnesota.

"I think Farmar's a little bit further [behind]," D'Antoni said. "They want to be a little bit more careful with him because of the last time what happened with him. Nash and Steve could, but we'll have to see."

Farmar has been sidelined twice by hamstring injuries. Nash has been out since Nov. 10 because of nerve damage in his back. Blake hasn't played since Dec. 10 because of a torn elbow ligament.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

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