NBA / los angeles
Magic Johnson Resigns - But The Drama Has Just Begun
The ink of the presses is dry, you've heard the news. Magic Johnson is out as Lakers President of Basketball Operations. He blindsided literally everyone with an impromptu press conference next to the Lakers locker room surrounded by reporters. He didn't run it by Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, nor LeBron James. This moment is as unprecedented as it is surreal. No GM of Magic's stature has ever resigned under circumstances like this that I can recall. We were in Year 2 of Magic's Three Year Plan. Getting LeBron was Part 1 of the rebuild via free agency, but thanks to the sudden news Magic won't be here to make good on his plan of action. Some are saying this is a disaster, and will only cause more instability for a fragile Lakers franchise. I say Laker fans should be out on the street celebrating. This can be step 1 in the road back to competence. The Laker legend made a flurry of moves that justified firing if actions were taken based on results alone, and not held back by emotional ties and name value. Yes, Magic got LeBron James in a Laker uniform, but he didn't show any signs of being a competent President outside of that - nor did he want to learn how to do it. Previous sins include trading a young, cheap, talented big in Ivica Zubac for nothing, letting Julius Randle and Brook Lopez walk, trading D'Angelo Russell a year before he had to, signing unreliable playmakers instead of shooters that typically complement LeBron, and failing to negotiate an Anthony Davis deal under the radar, which in turn destroyed this year's team chemistry. Not to mention, not having him on board anymore puts me at ease that he won't deal our currently promising players for a bad hand (Lonzo, Kuzma, Ingram, Hart, Caruso, Jones, Bonga, Williams) So Jeanie didn't have to do carry out the hard job of letting go of Magic. He did it to himself! It's funny how the world works out, especially the NBA world. This only furthers my inclination that we are living in one of the kookiest parallel universes out of the infinite bunch. With the departure of President of Basketball Operations, current General Manager Rob Pelinka should be the next one to exit swiftly stage left. It's time to go on a full-blown front office cleanse. You still have a capable LeBron (coming off a full off-season of rest), your own lottery pick, enough cap space for a max contract plus role players, and four great budding talents in Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, and Hart. Free agent GM's will rightfully come knocking to the Lakers door. It's up to Jeanie to conduct the most thorough process to find Magic's replacement for the modern NBA. In a perfect world, you pry former Laker player and executive Jerry West away from the Clippers and bring him back to the Laker family. He was the one who built the Kobe/Shaq era, and instantly recognized Kobe's talent with the Divac for Bryant draft night trade. He's the lone exception to the idea that great former players don't make great executives. I personally don't think this is likely at all, as the Clippers have a ton of promising young pieces plus a grip of cap space. Jerry is probably more interested in finishing the incredible job he started with LA's redheaded stepchild of a franchise. But if West were to somehow have a change of heart, that's one act of nepotism I think we all would cosign on. Depending on how the dominos fall, I think given former Cavs GM David Griffin's pedigree and respect from LeBron, he should be considered for the President or GM role. This story still has layers unseen that have yet to be revealed. I think we should all just step back and let it develop. All I know is, I feel great knowing that Magic Johnson the President of Basketball Operations isn't going to be making calls on my favorite franchise any longer. I'm sad for Magic the person though. I wish that he was the one who brought the Lakers back to prominence, but I don't think he had the chops for it nor was he interested in learning. It came to this sudden, shocking end but I think it was for the best. Today's a new day. Don't mess this up Jeanie!