Magic Johnson has not been shy to critique the struggling Los Angeles Lakers this season, but he recently took his criticism to a whole new level.
The former “Showtime” engineer took to Twitter to deliver a frenzy of messages directed at the stars and role players on the purple and gold roster.
He began by deflecting blame for the team’s failures away from coach Mike D’Antoni (and possibly former coach Mike Brown) and says it is the players who are responsible for the Lakers' 15-18 record:
I'm tired of blaming the coach, the responsibility is on the @lakers players.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 7, 2013
Magic then excoriated the bigs, calling out Dwight Howard for his whining and lack of offensive production, while chastising Pau Gasol for averaging less than his career averages.
.@dwighthoward has to stop complaining and start dominating on offense....@paugasol has to stop playing soft and get back to 18pts & 10rebs!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 7, 2013
He wasn’t done yet, though, chastising guards Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant—although Johnson did admit that the Black Mamba should be considered a contender for the MVP award this year:
.@kobebryant is having a an MVP type season but the team needs him to be a better leader...@stevenash scoring more and… say.ly/xwO4UvY— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 7, 2013
Johnson, No. 4 on the all-time assists list, pointed out that Nash—the player right behind him on that list and likely to pass him this season—needs to manufacture more easy buckets for his teammates.
The five-time NBA world champion and current television analyst continued on, attacking Metta World Peace for his lack of intensity on defense and reserve Jodie Meeks’ questionable choices when hoisting up shots:
.@mettaworldpeace has to stop making great quotes and start playing great defense...@jmeeks20 has to start making better shot selections.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 7, 2013
Before wrapping things up, Magic ranted about all 12 players on the active roster for not knowing what it means to be a Laker:
All 12 @lakers players need to understand what it means to be a member of the @lakers.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 7, 2013
As @lakers fans we demand and expect more once you put that @lakers Purple &Gold uniform on!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 7, 2013
The rant marked Magic's most direct string of complaints regarding the Lake Show.
Two weeks ago, the NBA legend made headlines by comparing their cross-town rivals—the Clippers—to his Showtime teams of old.
Johnson, who is still a Lakers fan and cares deeply about the success of the team, is likely trying to light a fire under this lethargic group of players.
They are currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the Western Conference playoff picture, and they need to turn things around before it's too late. Missing the postseason would be an absolute travesty considering the team's All-Star cast.
Lakers Nation needs something to finally spark this talented but troubled group of stars. Perhaps Magic Johnson’s comments will finally get this unit back on track.