Magic Johnson is a Laker again. This time as the President of Basketball Operations. On Tuesday morning, the Lakers announced that co-owner Jeanie Buss had fired her brother Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak. Just moments later, it was revealed Jeanie Buss hired Magic (formally known as Earvin) in place of Jim as President and Rob Pelinka is set to replace Mitch as the general manager.
Several years ago, Mitch and Jim both made a vow assuring they will bring back the winning culture instilled within the franchise when Dr. Jerry Buss purchased the team in 1979. With this vow, they bestowed a deadline. That deadline is here. Unfortunately, they were not able to reach the goal of honoring that vow. At the beginning of this year they seemed to be on track with the Lakers starting the season 10-10 including a blowout win versus the Warriors. The remainder of the season seemed promising with hopes of a possible playoff appearance in the back of minds. Suddenly, the injury bug bit the team causing their chemistry on the court to shake up. The ball movement that is quintessential to the offense Head Coach Luke Walton wants his players to execute came to a halt and the energy in the locker room began to diminish. They went back to looking like the Lakers of last season that went 19-53, the worst record in franchise history. Due to the lack of growth despite injuries and other variables that led to another down Lakers season, Jeanie Buss had to make the move to replace them.
Now with Magic leading the way for the Lakeshow, there is a new light that shines on Staples Center. A light filled with hope and joy that another championship could be in arm’s reach sooner than later. Acquiring and keeping marquee free agents willbe less troublesome to accomplish now that the Lakers are a more desirable team to play for. Magic has always been a persuasive businessman and he has an abundance of respect from players all across the league. On top of that, he was one of the best players to ever play the game as well as one of the best Lakers, playing during the ‘Showtime’ era. If anybody is fit for a position like this, it is Magic Johnson. Since he was hired on Tuesday morning, rumors have surfaced about players like All-Star Paul George was interested in signing with the team during free agency if the Pacers are not contenders next year. A rumor of that nature has been a rarity for the franchise for several years now. The Lakers have not been this desirable to play for since the last time they won a championship in 2010. Since then, players around the league have been intimidated to play alongside Kobe and his pure alpha mentality. Phil Jackson was also a viable piece to keeping the Lakers attractive because of his resume as a coach for the greatest player to ever live in Michael Jordan and then his clone in Kobe Bryant en route to 11 championships as a coach. Since Phil retired from coaching in 2011, the Lakers have gone through 3 head coaches and are currently on their 4th, Luke Walton.
Magic Johnson is already off to a great start in his new job, only being active President for two days now and already having traded Marcelo Huertas for guard Tyler Ennis from the Rockets. Tyler Ennis is not much to rave about but the young guard has more time to develop than 33-year-old Marcelo. Prior to that trade he was able to grab a first round pick and Corey Brewer from the Rockets as well for Lou Williams. This morning, just hours prior to the trade deadline Magic called Larry Bird to discuss a potential trade for Paul George. No traction was made in time for the deadline although to see Magic display his dedication towards bringing a winning culture back to the Lakers franchise has been a joy to watch so far. I am personally excited for what the future holds I plan on watching Magic succeed as the President of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers.