In his first year as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James missed as much time as he ever has with an injury, played a role in the failed attempt to lure Anthony Davis to L.A. and missed the playoffs for the first time since his second season in the Association. After appearing in eight straight NBA Finals, the first chapter of LeBron’s story as a Laker got off to the worst start it possibly could.
The Lakers are essentially starting over in year two with LeBron. Luke Walton was relieved of his duties as head coach, and Frank Vogel will take his place. The Lakers will again chase Davis and other superstars in an effort to pair them with LeBron this summer.
And Magic Johnson is no longer team president. But despite the odds that look to be stacked against LeBron, Johnson believes the man he brought to L.A. will still bring a championship to Hollywood. Johnson appeared on ESPN’s First Take to clear the air about his departure and claim that Lakers GM Rob Pelinka was behind rumors that caused him to leave his post.
He also had some things to say about LeBron, though they were much more positive.
“It’s gonna happen. Just like me going back to my business and doing what I’m doing, LeBron gonna win that ‘chip,” Johnson said during an appearance on First Take Monday morning. “He’s going to be in that room recruiting.”
With the disarray that’s enveloped the Lakers front office, and teams like the Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets still ruling the West, it’s hard to see a path for Johnson’s vision to come to fruition. Will any prominent free agent voluntarily choose to join what appears to be chaotic situation in L.A.? Will David Griffin even consider trading Anthony Davis? As always, anything is possible when you have LeBron, but the Lakers are a long ways off from reaching the summit.
At least Magic is still optimistic.