On February 21, 2017 Jeanie Buss and the Los Angeles Lakers announced Magic Johnson would be President of Basketball Operations. Magic, a 5x Champion, 3x Finals MVP, 12x All Star, is no stranger to basketball. At face value, this hiring looks like a genius move from Jeanie Buss.
When the hiring of Magic was announced a few weeks ago, I immediately had mixed emotions. I’ve been a Lakers fan for over 30 years, so naturally I love Magic, but with the hiring of Magic, came the firing of Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak. Mitch Kupchak had been with the Lakers organization for 36 yrs (1981-2017) and as a General Manager won 4 rings. Mitch had some great trades under his belt to keep the Lakers contenders for years. In the 2007-2008 season he started by trading Brian Cook and Maurice Evans for Trevor Ariza. Later that season he traded Kwame Brown and the rights to a very young Marc Gasol for his older brother Pau Gasol. This will always be known as his best move. The Lakers acquired Pau in February and were in the Finals by June. Mitch will definitely be missed but moves like trading away multiple picks for an aging Steve Nash and signing Deng/Mozgov to hefty contracts helped push him out the door.
I will say, Magic being hired to run the Lakers isn’t a terrible idea. Magic has a basketball mind and the Lakers definitely need that in their front office. Magic’s first move was to hire (although not officially announced) Rob Pelinka as General Manager. This hire was very interesting because Rob Pelinka is Kobe Bryant’s former agent and has a very good relationship with players and other agents. Reality is, basketball has changed and a new identity and way of doing things may be just what the Lakers need.
Time for a REAL difference
So now that the Front office has been revamped and the Lakers keep losing games in an attempt to keep their draft pick…what’s next? Magic publicly bashed every move Jim and Mitch made, so I’m assuming he has the answers. I know things don’t happen overnight but as a die hard fan, I’m tired of hearing the word “patience”. Magic needs to make good on his promise to make us champions again. Anything less, in my opinion, will be a (Jim) BUSS. No typo lol.