Magic Johnson is officially back with the Lakers. The Hall of Fame point guard will return to a role in the front office as an advisor to to Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss “in all areas of basketball and business.”
Johnson, who is also a partial owner of the LA Dodgers, LA Sparks and works as an analyst on ESPN (where he will continue to work), returns to the Lakers in an official capacity after losing his honorary title as vice president last summer. With Johnson back in the fold, it’s clear that there are changes coming to the Lakers over the next year.
“Everyone knows my love for the Lakers,” said Johnson in a statement. “Over the years, I have considered other management opportunities, however my devotion to the game and Los Angeles make the Lakers my first and only choice. I will do everything in my power to help return the Lakers to their rightful place among the elite teams of the NBA.”
Johnson will work directly with Jeanie Buss and it has raised questions about the future of Jim Buss, as USA Today’s Sam Amick detailed in depth on Thursday. Buss previously stated his intentions to step away in 2017 if the Lakers weren’t competing for championships, but now that time is rapidly approaching. Johnson is a friend of Jeanie’s but has been critical in the past of Jim, making his feelings clear that he doesn’t feel Jim should have his hands in basketball decisions.
Now that Johnson is coming in as an advisor, not just a figurehead as he was previously, it would seem to indicate that the push to move Jim Buss out of power (and possibly GM Mitch Kupchak as well) could be coming soon.