Magic Johnson tells the “Max and Marcellus Show” on ESPNLA 710 that he’d be willing to help the Lakers recruit free agents during what he calls a “crucial summer” ahead. “If it’s (Lakers co-owner) Jim Buss going up against Pat Riley, he’s going to lose that battle. He needs help,” Johnson said. “You have to have a recruiter. Jim needs a recruiter with him.” Johnson touched on plenty more about the Lakers and their recent past, and Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com rounds up the highlights. Here’s more from opening night in the Association:
- LeBron James tried to recruit Taj Gibson to the Heat when Gibson was a year away from restricted free agency, but Gibson doesn’t think he’ll return the favor with James poised to hit free agency this summer, as Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times details.
- Kevin Garnett has yet to make his official debut for the Nets, but he’s already the “heartbeat of the team,” according to fellow offseason addition Alan Anderson. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News has more.
- Kevin Love tells Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune that he and Ricky Rubio have spoken about a long-term future together, but for now, they’re focusing on the present. Both Timberwolves can become free agents in 2015.
- Sixers GM Sam Hinkie is confident that the city of Philadelphia can be a selling point for marquee free agents when he’s ready to make a run at them, but Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer wonders if local fans will turn on him before he gets to that point.
- Brett Brown admits that the challenge of coaching the Sixers is harder than he envisioned when he took over the team in August, observes Tom Moore of The Intelligencer.
- Xavier Henry remains on a non-guaranteed contract after making the Lakers out of camp, but he’s drawing raves from coach Mike D’Antoni, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).