LeBron James received a lot of heat for the Lakers' struggles this season, but Magic Johnson tells TMZ Sports he still wants to see LBJ in a Lakers uniform for the foreseeable future.
We spoke with Magic -- who won 5 titles with the Lakers during his career -- out in L.A. this week, and asked him if the Lake Show should trade its 37-year-old superstar after the team missed the playoffs this season.
Magic told us absolutely not ... saying he wants LeBron in the purple and gold "for a long time."
The idea of jettisoning James, who averaged 30.3 points per game in his nineteenth season, has recently been floated by disgruntled Lakers fans and some media personalities ... who think the haul LeBron could get in a trade would make the team immediately better.
But, Magic clearly believes that's nonsense ... telling us he "hopes" to see Bron stay.
As for who will coach LeBron next season after Frank Vogel was just fired ... Magic told us it certainly won't be him, and probably not Phil Jackson either.
But, the Hall of Famer did say Jackson will help in the hunt for the next head man ... something he appears to believe will be good for the org.'s future.
By the way, we also ran into ex-NBA starAl Harrington at LAX this week ... and he shared Magic's opinion, telling us the Lakers should definitely hold on to LeBron.