Magic Johnson is making the rounds following the Los Angeles Lakers’ ouster from the 2021 NBA playoffs. Johnson, in a tweet sent on Friday afternoon, stressed that former front office colleague Rob Pelinka needs to do some serious work to get the team back to a championship level during the upcoming offseason.
Now, his attention is on one member of the organization who is an upcoming free agent. In a radio interview, Johnson remarked upon the play of point guard Dennis Schroder, saying that while he will root for him if he comes back to the team, Johnson believes that the German guard’s mentality is not a fit in L.A.
.@MagicJohnson on #DennisSchroder: “I don’t think he brings the winning mentality and attitude we need.” https://t.co/psbw6Y3ECn pic.twitter.com/Nb469AjiQZ
— AM 570 LA Sports (@AM570LASports) June 4, 2021
“Schroder, I don’t think he’s a Laker, and that’s just my opinion — I don’t know if they’re gonna sign him back or not,” Johnson said. “I don’t think he brings the winning mentality and attitude that we need, and he had a chance to show that in this series, and to me, he failed in this series. But, again, if he comes back a Laker, I’ma support him, I’ma cheer for him, and all that. But I just don’t think he’s a Laker.”
Schroder struggled in the Lakers’ first-round loss to the Suns, averaging 14.3 points, three rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game while connecting on 40 percent of his shots and 30.8 percent of his threes. Included in these struggles were a zero-point outing in Game 5. Of course, the argument can be made that Schroder, while a nice player, never should have been relied upon to be the savior of the Lakers’ season after Anthony Davis got hurt, and that he is a useful player in the correct role. But Johnson, despite his lack of a formal title in L.A., carries a lot of sway with the organization, so it’s fair to wonder what him speaking out might mean for Schroder’s future with the team.