Magic Johnson criticizes Jim Buss for Mike D’Antoni hire

After vowing he wouldn’t tweet anything if he didn’t have anything “nice to say,” Magic Johnson couldn’t take it anymore.

The famed Laker remains upset on the team’s front office passing over Phil Jackson as the next head coach in favor of Mike D’Antoni.

“I love Dr. (Jerry) Buss. I don’t believe in Jim Buss,” Johnson said on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” on Wednesday night. “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 OK, but why didn’t you just say that? But the fans were cheering for Phil Jackson two nights in a row.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Johnson had tweeted that he was “mourning Phil Jackson not being hired as the Lakers head coach.” That marked the first time Johnson publicly commented about the hire.

“The reason I haven’t tweeted in 2 days is because I’ve been mourning Phil Jackson not being hired as the Lakers head coach,” Johnson tweeted Wednesday morning. “My mother always taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said on Tuesday that he, owner Jerry Buss and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss all agreed D’Antoni was the right hire. Kupchak mentioned Jackson’s insistence for more time conflicted with the Lakers’ hope to expedite the coaching search and interview more candidates. He also expressed skepticism on how the Lakers’ revamped roster would learn Jackson’s famed triangle offense.

“Without going into great detail, some of our guys, I don’t think would be very successful in the Triangle,” Kupchak said Tuesday. “Some of our newer players might take a long time to learn the Triangle.”

Johnson’s criticisms toward Jim Buss hardly marks the first time he’s done so in a public setting. Last season, Johnson suggested Buss has more say in front office decisions than Kupchak. He also criticized Buss for not keeping Kobe Bryant in the loop on personnel issues. Johnson then changed his tune after the Lakers acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard this offseason.

With the Lakers’ new coaching hire, though, Johnson has become further skeptical about Jim Buss’ leadership.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter.

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