Following the Los Angeles Lakers’ elimination from the NBA playoffs in 2021, Magic Johnson is making the rounds. In a tweet made on Friday afternoon, Johnson emphasized that former front office colleague Rob Pelinka must work hard this offseason to restore the team back to championship status.
Now, his focus is on a member of the organization who is set to become a free agent in the near future. Johnson commented on point guard Dennis Schroder’s performances in a radio interview, saying that while he will root for him if he returns to the team, the German player’s mentality does not belong in L.A.
“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’m supporting him, I’ma cheer for him, and all that. But I just don’t think he’s a Laker.”
In the Lakers’ first-round loss to the Suns, Schroder averaged 14.3 points, three rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game while hitting 40 percent of his shots and 30.8 percent of his threes. Among these setbacks was a zero-point performance in Game 5. Of course, one could argue that, though Schroder is a nice player, he should not have been expected to save the Lakers’ season after Anthony Davis was injured, and that he is a helpful player in the right context. But, despite his lack of a formal title in Los Angeles, Johnson wields a lot of power within the organization, so it’s reasonable to ask what Johnson’s comments signify for Schroder’s future with the team.