Los Angeles Lakers point guard Dennis Schröder received a massive downvote from legacy Laker Earvin “Magic” Johnson during a radio interview on Friday.
With microphones readily available to capture Magic’s thoughts following the Lakers’ first-round playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns, the former president of the team gave a scalding review of point guard Schröder and vied that the team not bring him back for next season.
“Schroder — I don’t think he’s a Laker,” said Magic in an interview with LA’s AM 570. “That’s just my opinion. I don’t know if they’re gonna sign him back or not. I don’t think he brings the winning mentality and attitude that we need. He had a chance to show that in this series. And to me, he failed in this series.”
Dennis Schröder is slated to be a free agent after being traded to the Lakers in 2020 from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 27-year-old point guard averaged 15.4 PPG and 5.8 APG with the Lakers during the 2020-2021 regular season. Seeing a hot start in his first three games against the Suns (14-24-20 points), Schröder had a massive drop in production when he combined for 8 points in both Game 4 and 5. The Lakers were eliminated after losing Game 6.
The report from Yahoo Sports suggests that Magic’s sharpened critiques aimed at Schröder may be more reflective of a negative take Johnson has harbored for Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka.
Known as one of the key players involved with Johnson’s sudden departure from the organization in 2019, the general manager gained favor last year after Los Angeles won the NBA Finals on the back of the colossal Anthony Davis trade.
Magic’s critical attitude toward the upcoming rebuilding period for the Lakers comes at a divisive time when the organization is stuck between building around All-Star Anthony Davis as the crown jewel, or patching up the aging LeBron James and continue to ride hopes of another championship as he turns 37 this year.
Old men winning trophies isn’t a new thing in the realm of sports. Ask former Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd, who won the championship with Dallas at the age of 38 against a team LeBron may remember from Miami, Florida.