Out with the old and in with the new? Yes, but really no…
It’s official. Magic Johnson had just been hired as the Lakers new President of Basketball Operations.
Jeanie Buss officially made the decision this week, in a move that many thought should have happened years ago. In the process, she had to fire Mitch Kupchak and her own brother Jim Buss, which she admitted was a very hard thing to do, but necessary.
With Magic now at the helm of such a big position for the Lakers, is it really a new guard? I mean, we’re talking about the player who headed the Showtime Lakers in the 80’s to the tune of five NBA titles. We’re talking about someone who has continued to have some type of imprint on the organization and the city of Los Angeles in a major way. We’re talking about someone who is immortalized in Laker lure with his very own statue in front of the Staples Center. This really isn’t new for Laker fans, but it’s a refreshing reunion that was so needed.
So, Magic got right to work yesterday in his first move as President, by trading Lou Williams to the Rockets for Cory Brewer and a first round pick in this year’s draft. He also hired super agent Rob Pelinka, who manages players like Kobe Bryant, James Harden and many others, as the team’s new General Manager.
Magic described his decision to hire Pelinka as a move to hold down a better understanding of where the league is at right now and essentially enter the new age of running a franchise.
“I want a person who understands the [collective bargaining agreement], but who also understands our team and wants to be here,” Johnson said, “And [one] who wants to work with both of us, and who knows players, knows agents — because we’re gonna need all of that on his resume when he comes to work here — and who also has relationships around the league already. That’s important, as well.”
These first two moves symbolize Magic’s penchant to quickly move things forward for a franchise who has fallen from grace the past few seasons, although they have a bevy of young talent.
What Magic is doing is beginning to raise the standard back up of what being apart of the Lakers should be. A standard that was once the top and elite level of the NBA and sports period, that as a player, Magic helped to get there.
With his role in the management of the Dodgers, business acumen that he has developed post-retirement, and just the allure of who he is and the impact that he’s made across the league, teams will start to look at the Lakers in a relevant light once again.
I think some more Magic is just what this team needed, and it should prove to one day bring the Lakers back to glory.
Do you agree with the decision to hire Magic Johnson? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.