David Rosenthal, CBSLA.com
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Lakers owner Jim Buss recently had particularly harsh comments about former Laker Magic Johnson in an interview with USA Today’s Sam Amick.
Johnson has publicly criticized the Lakers owner in the past for incidents like the hiring of coach Mike D’Antoni and the team’s inability to lure in premier free agents.
Johnson has also been on several radio and television shows saying how Buss will be unable to bring the Lakers back to relevance.
He told ESPN in a 2013 interview, “I love Dr. (Jerry) Buss. I don’t believe in Jim Buss.”
Jim Buss’s father, Jerry Buss, is a different story, according to Johnson.
After Buss’ death in 2013, Johnson told the Los Angeles Times that, “Dr. Buss gave me the platform to be Magic. He gave me the knowledge to be Magic.”
Jim Buss, when asked about Johnson’s recent criticisms Tuesday, said: “Magic Johnson going nuts on me? It’s like, really dude? My dad made you a billionaire almost. Where are you coming from?”
Not only are Buss’ remarks absurd, but they are also completely untrue.
Jerry Buss paid Johnson for his services on the basketball court.
What he did for the Lakers and for Jerry Buss on and off the court, was the compensation for that money.
If anything, Johnson made Buss richer with his multiple championships, jersey sales, popularity and leadership.
No one ever gave Johnson a handout or charity.
He earned his money for playing for the Lakers.
He earned his money just like every athlete, and Jim Buss should be ashamed of his comments.
He won five NBA titles with the Lakers and was named the Finals MVP in three of them.
He battled through countless struggles off the court, and always persevered.
Johnson’s response was classy as usual, simply saying, “It’s all about winning, Jim” after hearing Buss’ remarks.