Lakers News: Magic Johnson wants a ‘larger role’ in LA; could replace Jim Buss as VP of basketball operations

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Magic Johnson (Photo courtesy: Philipschwalb/Wikimedia Commons)
PHOTOGRAPH: Philipschwalb/Wikimedia Commons | Magic Johnson

The Los Angeles Lakers recently hired Magic Johnson as a special advisor to Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss. The five-time NBA champion revealed that his role will be determined by the end of the 2016-17 NBA season. Will Johnson replace Jim Buss as vice president of basketball operations or Mitch Kupchak as general manager?

The Lakers continue to struggle and are projected to be one of the worst teams in the league once again. Jim Buss, Lakers vice president of basketball operations vowed to vacate the position if his team will not make a deep playoff run this season. Jeanie supported his brother’s decision and believed that Jim will stick to his words.

Magic Johnson wants to “call the shots” for the Lakers

The recent hiring of Magic Johnson as advisor of Jeanie could spell doom for Jim. According to Josh Peter of USA Today Sports, Johnson wants to “call the shots’’ for the Lakers. The 57-year-old does not only want to act as an advisor but he’s also eyeing to take part in running the organization.

“Look, Jim knows where we are, Jeanie knows where we are, as a franchise, and so some decisions have to be made,’’ Johnson said, adding that he thinks his role will be determined by the end of the season. “I may only be in this role for a short term, I may be here for a long time. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I can’t tell you that right now.’’

In the past, Johnson criticized Jim’s decisions and asked him to resign from his position with the Lakers. To make things more complicated, Jeanie didn’t inform her brother about her plans to hire Johnson. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne revealed that Jim called Johnson to know his intention.

“I’m taking Magic at face value, that he’s here to help,” Jim Buss told ESPN. “He’s one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Who wouldn’t value his opinion? I’m excited to work with Magic for years to come.”

With Jim’s statement, it’s clear that he plans to keep his position regardless of the outcome of the 2016-17 NBA season. However, his sister still has the final say. With the Lakers heading to another disappointment, it will not be a surprise if she forces Jim to vacate his position.

Lakers will take two to three years to become contenders

Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, and Brandon Ingram were the results of the Lakers’ years of tanking. Unfortunately, as of now, none of them has the capability to become the new face of the franchise. Magic Johnson believes that the Lakers could return to title contention in two to three years.

“It’s going to take time and we know that,’’ Johnson said. “I’m not going to fool nobody and I don’t want the fan base to think, ‘Oh, I’m back, so it’s going to turn around tomorrow.’ It doesn’t work like that. You have to make some good decisions, you have to make sure we use the money wisely when we have it for free agents and then we’re going to draft well.’’

So far, the Lakers have started to regret spending lots of money for Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov. With Johnson taking part in running the purple and gold, Lakers fans could expect massive improvements in the succeeding years.

Photo courtesy: Philipschwalb/Wikimedia Commons

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