Keyshawn Johnson Defends Magic Johnson Against Claims That He Landed Lakers Job Because of His ‘Charm’ 

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Dan Le Batard said Magic Johnson’s skills don’t fit his new role with the Lakers, which Keyshawn Johnson found bigoted. (Screenshot/Twitter)

Dan Le Batard quickly responded to Keyshawn Johnson and Michael Wilbon, who both criticized him for saying Magic Johnson is unqualified to lead the Los Angeles Lakers’ basketball operations.

Speaking on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” show Friday, Feb. 24, Le Batard stood by his assessment.

“It sounded like I was saying that [Magic Johnson] only gets jobs because he’s famous and charming,” Le Batard said. “People made the argument, ‘He’s a good businessman.’ Well, of course, he’s a good businessman. So is James Dolan, so is the owner of the [Sacremento] Kings [Vivek Ranadive], so was Donald Sterling. I was talking about, is it a translatable skill set? You’ve seen Magic Johnson’s tweets, they’re obvious. He’s not a basketball visionary when he’s raving about [Shanghai Sharks guard] Jimmer Fredette.”

On Thursday, Feb. 23, Le Batard said Magic Johnson has not proven successful in any of his post-basketball endeavors. He concluded the charitable NBA great had no business being promoted from his advisory role Tuesday after the team terminated General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“Magic Johnson is charming,” Le Batard said. “But Magic Johnson was given a late-night television show because he’s famous and charming. Failed in 11 shows. Magic Johnson was given a head coaching job of the Lakers because he’s famous and charming. Failed in 16 games.”

Keyshawn Johnson responded to Le Batard’s claims on “ESPNLA Mornings with Keyshawn, Jorge & LZ” later that day and defended Magic’s short-lived late-night talk show gig.

“I can’t tolerate this dude!” the retired NFL wide receiver said. “I can’t tolerate him saying these things about Magic Johnson because his facts are completely wrong! He got a talk show coming out of the NBA because they were trying a late-night talk show with African-Americans … The talk show business is hard! How many people fail at it?”

Johnson then implied Le Batard’s stance was founded in racism, an assertion co-host Jorge Sedano disagreed with.

“I’m going to read between the lines,” Johnson said. “I’m going to read between the lines on this one. To me, he’s saying ‘because he’s a Black dude,’ that’s the way I look at it …”

Michael Wilborn, co-host of ESPN’s “Pardon The Interruption,” tweeted in defense of Magic Johnson’s business acumen, saying Le Batard should have considered all aspects of the Hall of Famer’s career into account and not just his failures.

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