Culture of Hoops

Magic Johnson Wants the Lakers to Lose, Seriously

Image courtesy of Neon Tommy/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Neon Tommy/Flickr.

Baller Mind Frame’s No Layups brings you the hottest NBA stories mixed with personal opinion from our very own Aaron Lanton. Check it often and absorb the knowledge we’re dropping on you!

Some things are best left unsaid. A few examples include the following:

  • “The Thanksgiving turkey was dry this year.”
  • “Yes, you do look fat in that dress.”
  • “I hope the Lakers lose every game. Because if you’re going to lose, lose. And I’m serious.”

The last quote comes courtesy of Magic Johnson while speaking at a promotional event in New York City on Tuesday. Let’s skip the potential ulterior motives of Johnson to reach a larger point. Advocating losing as many games as possible is akin to promoting tanking which dilutes the product on the court.

Kobe Bryant didn’t like what Johnson said, but told the media that Johnson has the perspective of an owner. Johnson would later expound further on Twitter.

Johnson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft so he has an affinity for elite, young talent at the college level. He wants what’s best for the Los Angeles Lakers and longs for the days when storied franchises held serve. That’s fine but this attitude towards rebuilding is toxic for everyone involved.

One-fourth of the front offices in the league are sitting on their hands with the hopes that the players and coaches will lose enough to dramatically increase lottery odds. Meanwhile, the coaches and players look inept because they are turning in poor performances thanks to management, but they will be held responsible for not winning games by losing their jobs. Fans are caught in the middle, spending hard-earned bucks for an abysmal team adopting a long-term strategy that is centered around delivering a poor product with the promise of a non-promise, “We definitely, might get better if things outside our control work out.”

I don’t have a fix for the lottery system but more options need to be explored. Every franchise won’t like the changes. Who cares? I’m just tired of hearing this rhetoric. Teams can be bad for a lot of reasons even when they try (*cough* Charlotte Hornets *cough*), but intent should never be among the list.

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