Magic Johnson is the new addition to the Lakers organization front office as an Advisor. He will have a touch in all Basketball and Business operations for the Lakers and according to Serena Winters "He will report directly to Jeanie Buss."
Can this be the beginning of the end for Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchack as heads of all basketball operations for the Lakers?
Per interview on Spectrum SportsNet and Twitter: Although this was a direct add on from Jeanie, Magic extended his services to the other Buss members and co-owners Joey and Jesse Buss who were present at the Lakers practice facility and lunch. According to Magic Johnson on a conversation he had with Mitch and Jim, he simply is "here to give basketball advice" and Jim is the one "calling the shots".
Magic has great vision both on a court and off. He knew previous coach hires were the wrong choice, he knew the team wasn't meshing and he voiced it directly and publicly to the Buss'. In regards to being critical "some of the coaches brought in didn't fit the talent". "D'Antoni didn't have a run-up and down, spot up 3 teams. If he could have smalls and no center he would take it. He had Gasol sitting out there doing nothing." "Mike Brown was good, but it was a slow down game, excellent on defense. Could've gone a different direction." "Walton is a perfect choice. The young talent we have with the system he brings if they can tighten up on the defense, man this team can do some real special things.
In addition, Magic will be present on pitch meetings to F.A. especially to elite "I think we started that today, 'Ervin come aboard' guys know I'm about winning, agents are now thinking 'OK Magic knows about winning and knows how to put players in a winning situation.' and the other step is we got young talent, 'I can see myself in that lineup and when I see myself in that lineup we can go to another level'." It's true, Magic has the golden touch. A 5 time NBA Champion, Top 5 All-Time Player, whom in his rookie year played all positions in the finals including Center as Kareem was out with an ankle sprain. Tagged with a successful empire in many business ventures, I mean come on, really how can you go wrong?
In regards to time management, since he also has an ownership role with the Dodgers and Sparks, "I have capable people that can run my day to day business, which will give me the opportunity to invest the necessary time in this new role". Great that both organizations are running real smooth with the Sparks coming off a championship and the Dodgers established as a championship caliber team they do not require Magic's presence as much. After "turning down every other organization" he sees potential with the Lakers "That's why I joined. If I felt we were far away and it was going to be a waste of my time, I wouldn't be here and wouldn't have taken this role. I know that we have the pieces in place and we will continue to get better."
His quote "We're a superstar away from competing against both of those teams [Warriors and Spurs]". I'm sorry Magic, but honestly, IF we keep this team together the Lakers can be a contender within 2 years at best. These kids are under 25 with 1 or 2 years experience in the pro level and really the 2015/16 season was all about Kobe retiring and getting the ball. They need the time to develop and grow because at times they do show signs of maturity and ability, but again it takes a time to build that relationship and experience.
"We need someone to step up in the 4th"
His thoughts on current team "Little by little build the Lakers back up where they should be. We have a great group of young players.I think that we're missing a leader, though. We need to have D'Angelo step up to that leadership role" "If he can step up and lead the guys now because we've lost games in the 4th quarter when somebody should've stepped up."
About Brandon Ingram: "Nobody else puts the ball in the hand of a rookie like him and because of that we are seeing more confidence. We know he can defend, he's long. He's a gym rat, wants to get better."
About Julius Randle: "If Julius develops his right hand he can be an All-Star. Get on his right side and if he knew how to drop step, mmm it can be money"
About Ivica Zubac: Zubac and more minutes "We are seeing him develop right before our eyes"
He likes that Luke is keeping the team that is performing out on the floor. "One thing about this organization is we always come back. And we will come back, I'm here to say that we're ready to take that step"