Magic Johnson says the Lakers have to bring back LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson believes that the Lakers have to keep their trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook intact.

Johnson noted Westbrook’s improved play and listed multiple other factors for reasons behind his assessment.

“I think they have to bring it back,” Johnson said. “That’s number one because you can’t attach a first-round pick to Westbrook, and try to get him out, right? He actually played a lot better the last three weeks, and so I think A.D. is right, health did play a part of it, but the other part of it, we played bad basketball, and the players didn’t fit, and we didn’t have a winning mindset and attitude. That really bothered me. Mentally and physically, we just didn’t give us 150 percent every single night out on that court, and so if they gonna run it back, these guys first gotta be committed. Forget those commercials, and all the things that I think really sidetracked us as well and commit to each other and commit to playing the game the right way. We couldn’t get stops.”

Despite the fact that Johnson has no official connection with the Lakers, it’s clear from his use of the word “we” that he still feels a close bond to the team.

Davis’ injury woes proved to be devastating to the Lakers this season, with James also missing key stretches of the campaign.

In the case of Westbrook, folks had high expectations for him going into the season, but he hasn’t lived up to them. Westbrook has endured verbal abuse from fans, and the Lakers also came up short in attempts to trade him away.

Injuries arguably serve as the chief reason for why the Lakers have an embarrassing record of 31-47 with only four games left in the regular season.

Now, simply making it into the play-in portion of the postseason is going to be a stiff challenge for the Lakers. That goal is a far cry from the championship hopes that the team had when the 2021-22 season began.

Reaching the play-in tournament will soon get even more difficult, as the Lakers’ next two games are road clashes against the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors. The Lakers would prefer not to look ahead to next season, though it appears that might be what takes place later this week.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.