by Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello)
photo credit: Denver Post
LOS ANGELES — It all started with a friendly dinner and then courtside seats to a Lakers home game between Jeanie Buss and her longtime friend and Lakers legend Magic Johnson. It then elevated with an Instagram selfie.
If people didn’t know better, they would assume that Johnson and Buss would be engaging in a romance, but would be wrong…sort of. Johnson and Buss are reunited, but it’s purely business. Magic recently returned to the Lakers as a business and basketball consultant reporting to Jeanie directly.
This was music to Lakers’ fans ears. It’s like a Hollywood story as one of the most successful and popular players of all-time is coming back to LA to save his former team from ongoing mediocrity.
Fans are hoping Johnson’s return will have more substance than just a flashy headline to fire them up. People should understand that just because Magic is on board they shouldn’t expect immediate results, because that’s not how things work.
Johnson certainly understands that and has made expectations clear in a recent interview with USA Today.
“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 good decisions,” Johnson continued. “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.”
Many have blamed the Lakers’ recent problems on poor front office decisions specifically VP of basketball operations Jim Buss. Buss has said that he would resign from his position if the team wasn’t in position to reach the Western Conference Finals back in 2014.
Does Magic’s return mean that Jeanie will hold Jim to his word? It’s too early to tell, and Johnson will likely spend time working with Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak in player personnel decisions and scouting.
Magic is synonymous with success, charisma, championships, perseverance, and being a winner. If nothing else, he makes the Lakers front office much more attractive and tempting to future players giving them that “magic” touch.