Magic Johnson remains a Phil Jackson guy. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

One voice has been missing from all the talk and angst about the decision to make Mike D’Antoni — and not the many-ringed Phil Jackson — the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

On Wednesday night, though, Magic Johnson made sure everyone heard him. First, he returned to Twitter after an uncharacteristic absence.


Then, on ESPN, he fired away at Jim Buss, the Lakers’ executive vice president and the man who hired D’Antoni and handled Jackson rather indelicately. Johnson was explicit in aiming his criticism at Buss, the son of Dr. Jerry Buss, the Lakers’ owner and the man for whom Johnson played.

“Love Dr. Buss. I don’t believe in Jim Buss,” Johnson said. “Love Dr. Buss, don’t believe in Jim Buss. He’s made two critical mistakes already. To me, they made two critical mistakes.

“First, hiring Mike Brown — he wasn’t the right coach. He’s a great coach but not the right coach for the Lakers. And I don’t feel Mike D’Antoni is the right coach for the Lakers. Especially when you have Phil Jackson sitting out there, who wanted to be the Laker coach. Jim Buss decided he didn’t want Phil Jackson, he wanted Mike D’Antoni. And that’s okay, but why didn’t you just say that? But the fans were cheering for Phil Jackson two nights in a row.”

Jim Buss, asked for a comment by ESPN LosAngeles, said, “…I believe in Magic as I always have.”

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