After a disastrous season for the Lakers in which they lost 55 games, Mike D’Antoni resigned as the team’s head coach Wednesday. The Lakers fan base was happy, of course but one former player wasn’t too pleased.
Hall of Famer and Lakers legend Magic Johnson tweeted this shortly after the announcement was made:
Happy days are here again! Mike D'Antoni resigns as the Lakers coach. I couldn't be happier!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 1, 2014
This was a little out of character for him, simply because of the happy tone he used following someone losing their job. In response, TNT analyst Charles Barkley took to the air and challenged Magic’s actions in a very public forum on Inside the NBA (via 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 (Johnson). 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.”