Lakers back Brown after Magic's prediction

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Lakers have issued a statement publicly backing Mike Brown after Magic Johnson declared the first-year head coach would be fired if Los Angeles lost Game 7 of its first-round playoff series with Denver.

The club issued its statement a few hours before the third-seeded Lakers hosted the Nuggets in the series finale on Saturday.

Johnson spoke Friday night on ESPN, where he serves as an analyst. The Hall of Famer sold his minority ownership stake in the Lakers last year, but is still a club vice president and a close friend of the Buss family, which owns the team.

The club statement says the Lakers are "fully committed to and supportive of Mike Brown as head coach."

Brown brushed off Johnson's comments, saying Magic is entitled to his opinion.