Isaiah Thomas, Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson are epic failures as executives. Magic Johnson has a chance to be different. More in the mold of Larry Bird who had a decent run in Indiana, Danny Ainge in Boston who has the Celtics in a nice place in the eastern conference. he has a chance to build the Lakers into something special over time. Not show time Lakers but something different. The fact that the Lakers are turning over the reins to Magic tells how bad things are for the Lakers who don’t shake up their front office very often. Jerry West ran the franchise, then Mitch Kupchak , now it is Magic’s turn. How bad are things in LA? Bad enough that Kupchak and Jim Buss were tossed out by Jeannie Buss, Jim’s sister and Phil Jackson’s ex fiance’ Give her credit she took decisive action.
“Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss, Jim’s sister, said in a statement Tuesday. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new general manager to work with Earvin and coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new general manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new general manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”
From different published reports sports agent Rob Pelinka has an agreement in principle to become the next general manager of the Lakers, sources told ESPN. Pelinka will divest himself from his clients at Landmark Sports agency, which he owns along with Kobe Bryant.
“It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as president of basketball operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family,” Johnson said in a statement.
“Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”
Kupchak spent 30 seasons with the Lakers, starting as a player, and was in his 17th as the team’s general manager.
Johnson confirmed to Spectrum SportsNet later Tuesday that the search for a new general manager has already begun.
“It’s not about quick,” he said. “It’s about finding the right person who understands the new CBA because this is really important. This is a new league and a new NBA, and the CBA has made it such.”
He said he’s looking for somebody who already has league relationships.
Johnson and Jeanie Buss were asked how long it will take to turn the franchise around.
“It’s going to take us a while,” Buss said. “I don’t want to fool the fans. We’re going to build this thing the right way.”
Johnson added: “I can’t turn it around tomorrow. Or I really would be Magic, right?”
One thing both said was that they are not trying to bring back the Showtime Lakers of Johnson’s era.
“We’re not trying to turn back the clock,” Buss said. “The Lakers have figured out how to win in every era, and certainly the game has evolved and the rules have changed, and we know in our discussions about evolving with the game and looking at what the modern NBA is all about. This isn’t about going to the past and recreating Showtime. You can’t recreate Showtime. … This is about the future and about finding the right team for the style that Luke Walton wants to play.”
“That’s important that they have relationships with teams, players, agents and with the league,” he said.”I want to see how they practice, how they prepare for a game,” he said. “That’s really important. It’s one thing to see it on TV, but it’s another thing when you’re right there in person.”
I read somewhere that someone asked who would turn things are quicker Phil Jackson with the Knicks or Magic Johnson with the Lakers, I think at first glance I think one thing that works in the Lakers favor is that Magic has assets to work with he just picked up a draft pick from Houston via a trade and he has young players on the roster that need time to play together and he is open to different style of play un like Phil Jackson. This has a different feel to it. We will see what plan he has in place over time. But I suspect he will build a fair representation of the Lakers going forward.