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Shake Up in LA…Magic Appears

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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.

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16 Comments

  1. Cayman Thorn says:

    I’m a Heat fan simply because I grew up loving those Showtime Lakers. So basically I followed Pat Riley. From LA to the Knicks to Miami. But I never gave up my love for the Lakers.

    I would love to see the Lakers playing games in June. I dig Walton and I love Magic.

    • Were juju beans and pixie dust thrown as part of the first deal initiated by Magic Johnson which sent Lou Williams to the Rockets in exchange for Corey Brewer ? This is why the Lakers can no longer be taken seriously . I doubt that new GM Rob Pelinka would have signed off such an idiotic trade .

      • bklynboy59 says:

        It’s about assets. Or draft picks. Boston pulled same kind of deals to get them more where they are now. You have to start some where when you hit bottom. It’s not even close to being a finished product. Let’s see what develops going forward before making a harsh judgment

      • Since 2009 , what the hell have the Los Angeles Lakers been doing ? Their dysfunction and that of the New York Knicks has been such an embarrassment for the NBA , that you have to wonder about this league. No amount of excuse can continue to be made for that type of incompetence , complacency and ignorance shown by both organizations.

      • bklynboy59 says:

        I think you seem to forget that until the last few years the Clippers were a joke especially in trades long before the Knicks and Lakers got bad…the Clippers wrote the book on losing….the Mavericks were not far behind until Cuban got a clue. The Nets aren’t exactly owning new York and the Heat stink. The cavs without LeBron are a lottery team we all saw that…yet you focus on the Knicks and Lakers as of they wrote the book on losing…sorry ain’t buying it. Yes they stink but given both rosters Magic has a better chance of turning the Lakers around than jackson does with the Knicks who in 3 years has been awful

      • Once Steve Ballmer took over the franchise they (Clippers) became relevant again and along with Doc Rivers being there. it has made all the difference. What the hell , have either Lakers or Knicks done in order to improve their respective coaching staffs much less front office ? Those two franchises have concentrated on making money and little else beyond that. That is the sort of conceitedness you come to expect of the teams and their fans who expect to be treated with privilege and what they deem to be respect.

        What makes you think the Lakers have a better chance of turning things around ? Magic Johnson with his first personnel decision, has proven that he’s not an astute front office executive (Lou Williams in exchange for Corey Brewer) . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!! . It’s the same with Vlad Divac and the Sacramento Kings . His comments concerning having been offered a better deal for DeMarcus Cousins before pulling the trigger on that trade , goes to prove all along the NBA is littered with dumb @sses within several organizations .

        Divac was speaking out of his @ss and blowing smoke up everyone else’s . The entire front office of the Kings just happens to be repugnant and equally repulsive . Team owner Vivek Ranadive is an absolute moron. Someone should remind Divac , what he needed on a basketball court is a winning product and not the crap being served up by the Sacramento Kings.

      • bklynboy59 says:

        Ballmer just happened to fall into a winning culture that Doc Rivers made under Donald Sterling. It was Rivers who got the Clippers to be relevent not Ballmer. Ballmer saved the Clippers from further embarrassment off the court due to Rivers and others forcing the league to push Sterling out the door. Divac comments about a better deal sounds very much like comments that past general managers on the Clippers used to make about deals their had done with teams only to be killed by Ownership. How is that relevent? No doubt that Kings ownership had more to do with that deal with Cousins then Divac. By the way …every team not some but every team in every sport including the sports you like so much are littered with as you say morons.Some morons are better than others.:)

      • What winning culture ? The Clippers were a mess , the front office wasn’t willing to spend money , much less draft effectively. Rivers found an owner he could work with and formed a symbiotic relationship with Steve Ballmer .

        Vlad Divac and Peja Stojakovic have no front office between them and therein lies the problem with the Sacramento Kings. Team owner Vivek Ranadive was a minority stakeholder in the Golden State Warriors before he purchased the Kings. He should’ve stuck with the company he founded TIBCO , rather than entering the world of professional sports’ franchise ownership.

        So you’re suggesting the two decades plus of Gregg Popovich , Peter Holt and RC Buford was presided over by morons ? The San Antonip Spurs have twenty consecutive winning seasons, five NBA titles and with regard to their postseason record in the time frame , no other franchise can match it. So remind me which morons are at the bottom of the heap ?

      • bklynboy59 says:

        Apparently you forgot that the clippers were a top team in the western conference before Ballmer took over. Look it up. Cp3 Blake Griffin deandre Jordan were all there before Ballmer took over. You might not consider them as having a wi nning culture because they didnt get to the finals but they have made the playoffs and have had a winning record since rivers showed up.

      • It’s not a winning culture if you’re falling at the first hurdle . I haven’t watched a game at all this season in the NBA. Spent more time watching College Basketball , NFL , MMA and Premiership soccer .

        Now that the Spurs are kicking @ss and taking names of which the Clippers will be among their list take-downs in the West this season, I will be happy with the outcome.

        It appears the North American sports’ fans will accept banality and mediocrity as the norm, much as in the same way they are willing to accept the political landscape without question.

      • bklynboy59 says:

        Since Rivers has been with the Clippers the Clps have finished no lower than 2nd in the Pacific Division and has been to the Playoffs all three seasons since hi arrival in LA from Boston. The Clippers record in the playoff though mixed has alot to do with who they play in the first and second rounds …like the Spurs or the Warriors no easy outs if you play either in the first round or even the Memphis Grizzles who has proven to be a thorn in many teams side in the playoffs. Again he meaning Rivers has built a winning culture something that the Clippers were not noted for on a consistent basis. For someone who hasn’t watched a game all year and seems proud of it how can you say for certain about ho Magi is going to be at rebuilting th Lakers . As I said at the beginning of my post he has a chance to do something special with the Lakers . Until we see otherwise give the man a chance.Also let’s keep political comments out of this sports blog. There are other blogs out there that will debate politics …this blog isn’t one of them.

      • bklynboy59 says:

        I don’t recall throwing shade on the spurs so how did they co.e up conversation?

      • Cayman Thorn says:

        Williams can score, no doubt. As he showed in his debut. But he didn’t fit so the thinking was to get a player of relatively equal value and score a pick. Granted, the pick has little value but the Lakers should be grabbing up as many picks as they can because you never know how they might be used or the player that might result. I love Magic, and we shall see if this works. Magic was hired because he’s Magic, ain’t no secret no matter the firestorm that was created by LeBatard when he said just that. The hope on LA’s side is that he attracts players AND that he hires the right people and lets them work it.

      • bklynboy59 says:

        This is why I believe he will turn the Lakers around quicker than Phil Jackson will with the Knicks and Jackson has had a 3 year headstart. Like you said nothing worng with being hired because you are Magic Johnson, we could only wish we had that name to fall on. But as stated before while just as many big names have failed as executives there just as many who have done well for themselves, Bird, Ainge and to some extent Mchale. Ironic all former Celtics. At this point I can’t see the Lakers being any worse going forward. One thing that worries me is I used to think big city attracts big names and used to think that a guy like Jackson or Magic can attract big names but that hasn’t turned out to be the case some like LaMarcus Aldridge won’t even give teams like the Knicks an audience, maybe it will be different for Magic and the Lakers.One thing that work in his favor he in’t trying to bring back the Showtime Lakers…just get players that fit around your core .

  2. The NBA has become an unmitigated mess, lacking real depth among the coaches , players and defensively the teams are beyond banal.

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