In a surprising move that will certainly redefine a once storied franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers named Hall of Famer and team legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson their new president of basketball operations earlier today. The team also fired long time General Manager Mitch Kupchak and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss in the process.
“Together, Earvin, Luke, and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.” Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
Jeanie Buss is the daughter of longtime Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, who passed away in 2012. Jeanie and her brother Jim took the reigns of the franchise after their father’s death. Johnson has had a profound respect for not only Dr. Buss, but the entire Buss family.
Johnson was drafted by the team in 1979 and won five championships with the team over a 13-year career. He has served in several leaderships positions with the team since his retirement and was hired as an adviser to the team a few weeks ago.
“It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the entire Buss family, I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court.” Johnson said early Tuesday afternoon.
Johnson will be tasked with returning the Lakers back to championship prominence. The team’s 19-39 record this season is second worst record in the Western Conference. Over the past two seasons combined with this season, the team’s 57-165 record is the second worst in the league.
Laker nation hopes that Magic is able to use their young core of D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram as leverage to lure free agents to this once storied franchise.
Pictures courtesy of: Lakers Report and CBS Local