Magic Johnson’s Joyous Response To Mike D’Antoni’s Resignation

As most NBA fans know by now, Mike D’Antoni resigned as the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers last night. A number of people chimed in on Twitter when the news broke, but it was Magic Johnson‘s ebullient tweet after hearing the news that drew the strongest reaction.

This appears to be a particularly oafish case of schadenfreude, but keep in mind that D’Antoni resigned and was not fired. While we alluded to the Lakers’ unwillingness to pick up his option for the 2015-16 season as a possible motive, that doesn’t make D’Antoni’s decision any more forced. He made the conclusion to step aside after many players from this year’s team spoke on- and off-the-record about their troubles with D’Antoni’s offense, the most famous being former D’Antoni acolyte Kobe Bryant.

But Magic Johnson has been upset at the state of the Lakers ever since they passed over Phil Jackson to hire D’Antoni following the dismissal of Mike Brown right as the 2012-13 season tipped off. He’s also complained publicly about the uncreative offense under D’Antoni. Keep all that in mind:


Yeah, celebrating the end of someone’s employment lacks the class we all like to associate with Magic. He’s had a tough week, and he just wants to see his former team headed in a better direction. Still, many thought the tweet was out of bounds.

Not every was so stung by his missive, though. Media personality Bomani Jones explained why he doesn’t think Magic’s message is that big a deal:




Charles Barkley doesn’t agree with Jones’ *shrugs* whatever response to the tweet. On “Inside the NBA” last night Chuck took the time to explain his problems with Magic’s happiness after D’Antoni resigned (as transcribed by USA Today):

“Magic Johnson’s bigger than that. Magic Johnson’s bigger than that. Listen, Mike D’Antoni is a good coach. They didn’t give him a lot to work with. But Magic Johnson, he’s bigger than that.”


“The Lakers weren’t going to win with Phil Jackson, either, Ernie. They don’t have good players. … We know Phil Jackson’s arguably the greatest coach ever. The Lakers don’t have players, Ernie. They’re not a good team. Kobe Bryant is one of the 10 greatest players ever. He’s never going to be what he was. They don’t have good players. I’m not sure if Phil Jackson really wanted that job. The Lakers stink, and they’re going to stink.”

The tweet seemed awkward coming from Magic, but maybe Jones is right that we venerate the Magic Man a bit too much, especially after he’s handled himself with so much class and composure while facing down the racism of Donald Sterling over the weekend.

Chuck has a point, too, though.


Was Magic’s tweet inappropriate?

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