Johnson, whose Hall of Fame playing career included five
“This is what happens when you make the wrong decisions, two coaching wrong decisions, giving
“The biggest problem they’re going to have right now … you’ve got to get a guy like
"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.' "
Johnson acknowledged that getting West to return would be difficult, but added that having an empowered person in the general manager's role is critical. "You need to get someone like Jerry to be the face, so agents are comfortable, players are comfortable, knowing the Lakers are going for a championship….
"If Pat Riley's not there, you don't get LeBron to buy in."
Johnson said that current Lakers General Manager
Johnson also added, "Everybody's telling me free agents don't want to sign [with the Lakers]…. They're looking at the Lakers now as a team that's dysfunctional; who's their leader, who's the guy?"
The Lakers (14-24) are in one of the worst slumps in franchise history. They have lost 11 of their last 12 games and have fewer victories than all but two teams in the Western Conference.
“Dr. Buss was smart,” Johnson said. “He said, ‘I’m going to get the best dude, Jerry West, and he helped me achieve my goals. Then I went and got the best coach [in
West, general manager of the Lakers from 1982 to 2000, is a consultant with the
To be sure, injuries have played a significant role in the Lakers’ woes.
"He's been hurt twice, give him the whole year to get healthy."