Lakers Have Named Magic Johnson President Of Basketball Operations
Earlier this month, Magic Johnson returned to the Lakers as an advisor. Now, he's running the whole show. Mitch Kupchak has been let go as General Manager, and Jim Buss has been relieved of his duties as Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations. Kupchak has served as GM since the '94-'95 season and Buss has been VP since 2005. Johnson is taking on a hefty burden, as the Lakers have been one of the worst teams in recent seasons. He has a talented core to work with, including D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle. Johnson commented on the announcement stating:
"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. 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 [Walton] and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions."
The Lakers owner, Jeanie Buss, commented on the addition of Magic to the Lakers front office saying:
Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights [late owner] Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect. 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.
This shocking change of leadership has been made two days before the Feb. 23rd trade deadline, a risky and questionable move by the Lakers. Although Johnson is obviously extremely knowledgable when it comes to the game itself, he is still learning about the NBA's salary cap and the collective bargaining agreement. The surprising front office changes have astounded Laker's employees and fans alike, and we have a feeling there are plenty more surprises in store for the upcoming season.
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