Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Los Angeles Lakers great Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson is expecting his old team to struggle in one of the roughest seasons they will ever face.
Based on Magic’s assessment, there’s no guarantee that Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant could fully recover from ruptured Achilles tendon. Furthermore, he feels that Pau Gasol could not be maximized without sufficient talent surrounding him, especially with many journeyman players in the team right n ow.
“Laker fans are spoiled. I don’t know how they’re going to react now, because this is going to be a tough season,” Magic quipped. “You’ve got guys who are all on one-year contracts, and all were journeymen on other teams. Laker fans are not used to that.”
He added that even making the payoffs could be tough for the Lakers without Kobe back to his old ways.
Magic feels Bryant could still come back from his injury and be dominant but might need to give up some shots to his teammates to get them going.
“Kobe can get 30 or 40,” Johnson said. “But you have to remember, you need at least three guys who can score. Right now I’m looking at that roster and going, ‘Who else is going to get you 15-20 a night besides Gasol and Kobe?’ “
Nonetheless, Magic feels that Dwight Howard might not be much of help had he stayed since he could not keep up with the pressure of being a Laker.
He added that it played out the right way with Howard leaving the Lakers due to his conflict with Bryant.
“This is Kobe’s team. It’s still his team,”Magic said of the friction between Howard and Bryant last year.