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Magic Johnson Explains Why He Called Out Lakers' Lack Of Effort Against Nuggets In January: "It’s A Different Standard When You Put On The Purple And Gold... That's Unacceptable As A Laker, To Not Give Maximum Effort."

Magic Johnson Makes Bold Statement After Lakers’ Most Recent Win: “I Think We Could Have A Good Playoff Run, Especially With Anthony Davis Coming Back"”

Magic Johnson is an icon for the Los Angeles Lakers, one simply cannot talk about the franchise without mentioning what he has been able to achieve with the Lakers. Magic is a generally positive person, encouraging the younger generations and congratulating them when they achieve something great, but even has been struggling to stay positive about how the Lakers have performed this season. 

Earlier in the year, after the Lakers got blown out by the injury-riddled Nuggets, Johnson had taken to Twitter to criticize the performance, pointing out that the team had played without enough effort, something that he considered unacceptable from those that don the famous purple and gold. 

"After being blown out by the Nuggets 133-96, we as Lakers fans can accept being outplayed but we deserve more than a lack of effort and no sense of urgency. Owner Jeanie Buss, you deserve better."

It was a pretty jarring take coming from Magic, but one that had its merits. When he was interviewed by The Athletic after being picked at No. 5 in the NBA's All-Time Top 75 list, Johnson expanded on this take, saying that it comes for a place of love for the franchise. 

“I’m a Laker,” he said. “I love the Lakers. I want to be just around here helping. I sent that tweet out for a reason. It’s a different standard when you put on the purple and gold, and so those guys have to understand that, you know, not taking a shot at anybody. But that’s unacceptable as a Laker, to not give maximum effort.”

The Los Angeles Lakers have failed to improve since then, in fact, the situation has only gotten worse. The Lakers find themselves with a 26-31 record despite stellar performances from LeBron James, who is playing at an MVP level. Anthony Davis has been disappointing since his return from injury and the Russell Westbrook saga has already been discussed quite a bit as well. Maybe the All-Star break will allow them to figure some things out and start performing in a way that pleases legends like Magic Johnson.