Magic Johnson Still Talking With Lakers, Buss Even After Resignation
Magic Johnson said he is still "trying to help" the Lakers, and he has been talking to Controlling Owner & CEO Jeanie Buss "almost every day" despite resigning from the club earlier this month. Johnson said he would still resign and do the same thing over again if given the chance, but that he also is "always going to help" the team. He said it is "almost like I never left." Johnson: "I may not be in there physically, but I'm still there." Johnson added, "Sometimes you have to do things on your own terms no matter what other people think." Johnson also said, "I'm still talking to them everyday and I'm going to help them get the Lakers back right." He also denied that LeBron James had anything to do with his resignation (TMZ.com, 4/21).
NEED A BIG MOVE: SI.com's Chris Mannix wrote Buss "must go big game hunting" to replace Johnson. Thunder Exec VP & GM Sam Presti has "built one of the NBA's strongest franchises," Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri has "rebuilt two different teams" and Warriors President of Basketball Operations & GM Bob Myers has UCLA ties. After three decades in the Spurs organization, it is possible President & GM R.C. Buford might be "interested in trying something new." It could be that current Lakers GM Rob Pelinka is the "best person for the job." But there is "no excuse not to cast a wide net to make sure." Buss "gets a mulligan for the Johnson mistake, but it can't be repeated" (SI.com, 4/19). In California, Jim Alexander wrote the Lakers are the "NBA's version of the Raiders." Long after the "run of championships has ended, there persists an organizational attitude that stunts growth and impedes progress." A superstar hire or signing "might get the fan base energized but does not by itself counterbalance a sharp, savvy collection of basketball minds" (Riverside PRESS ENTERPRISE, 4/20).