Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson isn’t afraid of a little challenge.
With LeBron James now in the Western Conference, there’s been talk around what that means for the Western Conference — particularly whether the Lakers will be able to compete against the Warriors, who have now won back-to-back championships.
Johnson weighed in on the matter during a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, saying he isn’t “scared of Golden State” while also admitting “they’re the best.”
“I love competition, and I love chasing the best. They’re the best so we’ll look forward to playing against them,” Johnson said, via Silver Screen and Roll.
”I think that we’ll look forward to that challenge. Everybody expects Golden State to win again but I would love to have the challenge to play them in the Western Conference Finals if we can get to that position. I’m a competitor, so I’m not scared of Golden State. I’m not worried about Golden State. They don’t keep me up at night. I know that we have a really solid team, a good team, and a tough-minded team.”
Johnson went on to explain some of the offseason roster moves that give him confidence in the Lakers next season as he said, “We got guys now who are winners.”
”LeBron James brings a championship mentality to our team,” Johnson added. “So does (Rajon) Rondo, he’s won a championship with Boston. And then JaVale McGee, he used to play for Golden State, he’s won two championships.”
The Lakers will face tough competition against the Warriors as they secured another All-Star with DeMarcus Cousins this offseason. Golden State has also won three NBA championships in the last four years, while the Lakers have not taken home the title since 2010.