Magic Johnson stays winning. The Hall of Famer and Lakers legend has been named President of basketball operations for his former squad. His task is to restore the purple and gold to the upper echelon of the NBA. Magic is confident and believes he can do it.
Those that are skeptical cite Magic’s lack of understanding the nuance and complexities of the salary cap, CBA and the ins and outs of running an NBA franchise. At Tuesday’s press conference Magic shared his thoughts on that. Via TNT NBA reporter David Aldridge, Magic said:
It is going to take a while. I don’t want to fool the fans. We’re going to build this thing the right way. I’ve been studying up on new CBA for weeks and will continue going to school with new GM learning it further.
In terms of a new GM, Magic said:
I’m looking for someone whose thinking is outside the box. Someone that has [established have relationships] with teams and players.
Magic is dedicated and 100% committed to making the Lakers great. There are decent pieces on the roster now, Luke Walton is a good young coach, and LA is a free agent destination. He is correct that it will take some time, it will not happen overnight. The key is to stockpile young assets with friendly contracts. In other words, nail the draft. The other important thing is to not lose sight of the long term goal for short term gains. Signing a big name free agent to snag the seven or eight seed is not advisable.
The Lakers have the willingness and are putting together the right team and infrastructure to ensure success, but they are still years away. The GM needs to be the right mix of understanding what Magic and Jeanie want (which is ultimately winning) but experienced and strong willed enough to check them when they are misguided. This is Magic’s first and most important decision.