The Los Angeles Lakers were stunned by the abrupt departure of Magic Johnson from his role as the team’s President of Basketball Operations earlier this week. Now, with the season over and a critical offseason upon them, it will fall on the shoulders of Jeanie Buss to pick up the pieces and get the team back on track.
On this episode of the LN Podcast, host Trevor Lane breaks down the situation and why Johnson decided to call it quits on the franchise. Particularly troubling was the way Johnson went about his exit, dropping the bombshell to the media without informing anyone from the team first, including Buss. That put the Lakers in scramble mode, which isn’t a good look heading into a free agency period in which they will attempt to land a player the caliber of Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and a handful of others.
Johnson had reportedly intended to fire head coach Luke Walton and possibly general manager Rob Pelinka, but with his departure that could change the fortunes of both men. Walton, who has the support of Buss, definitely appears to have seen his odds of sticking with the Lakers increase, though he may not be totally in the clear just yet.
Johnson’s departure, while certainly difficult to deal with, does provide Buss with the opportunity to put the franchise back on track if she can bring in the right person to replace him. The Lakers have consistently been run like a family business, turning to people from within their family tree in order to fill major roles in the organization when they open up.
However, with so much at stake it’s going to be imperative that this practice changes and that the Lakers cast a wide net as they search for the best of the best.
We dive into what is going to be just the beginning of a massive summer for the Lakers.