First it was the greatest point guard of all time telling the world during a discussion with Mike James of the Los Angeles Times that he thought Kobe Bryant should sit out the rest of the campaign, mostly because he didn't have much to return to. After that, he left the Mamba off his list of great winners while tweeting about Kevin Durant, and that created another media firestorm:
The great ones Michael, Larry, Kareem, LeBron and now Kevin Durant can put their teams on their back and win!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 28, 2014
As B/R's Grant Hughes wrote, "Recently, the media mogul—who once owned a stake in the franchise—had been critical of the Lakers, taking aim at everything from their porous interior defense to their hiring of Mike D'Antoni."
To his credit, Magic later updated his list to include Kobe, and he apologized for his lack of support for the Lakers organization:
Laker Nation: It doesn't do the Lakers players, coaches or ownership any good for me to complain.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 31, 2014
Laker Nation: I'm going to stop complaining. I'm going to support and encourage Jim Buss and Coach D'Antoni because I love the Lakers!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 31, 2014
Fortunately for the Purple and Gold, it appears as if the helpful version of Magic is here to stay.
"I love them. I’m going to support them. I asked Mitch [Kupchak] the other day if you want me to recruit this summer," the Hall of Famer told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. "People don’t know that was my role with Dr. Buss for a while. I was the first to call Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, all these guys. That was my job, calling them and recruiting them."
If he managed to get all of those key contributors to come to L.A., then the team could certainly use him going forward.
After all, these next couple offseasons are going to be quite crucial. Few players are actually on the books going forward, and cap space abounds as the Lakers attempt to restock via free agency and add a few pieces during the draft process.
Do you want Magic to help recruit for the Lakers?
The 2014 offseason might see players like Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James become available, and 2015 will do the same with Kevin Love, Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge and others. Not only do the Lakers have to find stars who complement Kobe, but they need players who can usher in the next era of basketball in Tinseltown.
It'll be a difficult process, so every bit of help is useful. Magic may have been leaving an icky taste behind for Lakers Nation during recent weeks, but successful recruiting would certainly reverse that feeling.