Magic Johnson is now an official member of the Lakers front office as an advisor to Jeanie Buss, but the Laker legend has designs on holding a much bigger role.
Johnson has said he wants to “call the shots” for the Lakers eventually, and part of his plan is to turn to a more recent Los Angeles star for help. Johnson went on ESPN’s First Take and explained that his first call, if given the opportunity to run the show, would be to Kobe Bryant to ask for his help in any capacity he was willing to fill.
“First call I make if I’m in charge? Kobe Bryant,” Johnson said. “Because Kobe understands winning. He understands, also, these players. I would call: ‘What role you want? … If you’ve got a day, just give me that day.’
“I’ll take that. Whatever time he has, I want him to come and be a part of it.”
Kobe was one of the greatest players the Lakers organization has ever seen and I understand Johnson’s desire to keep him around (Magic is a firm believer in keeping a link to past greats), but to say “what role you want?” probably isn’t the greatest idea. Now, Kobe, for his part, seems very happy with his own ventures right now and doesn’t seem to have any desire to step into a full front office role anytime soon.
Even so, this seems like a transitional time for the Lakers, and bringing in a legion of former stars to run the franchise might not be the wisest move. That said, I’d pay to see front office meetings involving Magic and Kobe as the lead decision makers, because it would be the NBA front office version of good cop, bad cop with the nice, optimistic Johnson and the surly Bryant.