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Earvin “Magic” Johnson recently appeared on the Club Shay Shay podcast, and the NBA icon told host Shannon Sharpe that he almost became a part-owner of the Golden State Warriors. Johnson spent his entire 13-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championships with them before retiring in 1996. So Sharpe asked Magic if there is still any desire to own an NBA team at some point.

“I do, just the right situation,” Johnson replied. “But I’m such a Laker fan; I don’t know if I can do it… I’ve had four opportunities, and I turned them all down. [Warriors majority owner] Joe Lacob and [co-exec chairperson] Peter Guber sat down with lunch with me in Santa Monica [and told me], ‘We want you to be our partners with the Golden State Warriors.’ I love both men. I just couldn’t do it. I’m a Laker. I love the Lakers.”

Johnson even rejoined the Lakers in 2017 as their President of Basketball Operations, though he would abruptly bounce from the organization three years later. Even then, his heart still lies with “The Purple and Gold.” So he shared some words of tough love for their current point guard, 9x All-Star Russell Westbrook as well.

“First, take accountability, number one,” Johnson said when asked what he would tell the struggling Westbrook. “If [you] don’t play well, say ‘I [didn’t] play well.’ When I didn’t perform well in ’84 against the Celtics, I admitted that, I took accountability. I said, ‘Hey, I didn’t perform well.’ I was the reason why the Lakers lost that series — and I had to say to myself, ‘I’ve gotta get better.’”

Then Magic aimed the following words at Westbrook directly: “Russell, we know ‘championship basketball’ here. We know ‘winning basketball.’ So listen, just come in, do your job, and if you don’t play well, accept that. But say it. And then come back, and hopefully play better the next time.”

Check out the video below for the complete Club Shay Shay interview between Shannon Sharpe and Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Magic Johnson On Why He Turned Down Owning Warriors, Offers Advice To Struggling Russell Westbrook  was originally published on