EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Magic Johnson strolled into the conference room wearing his trademark smile, television-ready in a trim black suit, light blue shirt and black tie.
Johnson was his star point guard, and it was beneath that photo that Johnson sat, at the head of the table, just as he always wanted.
Johnson said he had just been in the team’s “War room” with other Lakers executives, including Ryan West, Joey and Jesse Buss, and head coach Luke Walton, working the phones as Thursday’s trade deadline approaches.
At the time, the Lakers lacked their own general manager, but Johnson said they hoped to announce a new one soon.
Johnson is competitive and will move fast and aggressively to help turn around his beloved Lakers, an organization that has missed the playoffs for three straight years and is coming off a franchise-worst 17-65 record.
For all his credibility, charm and success both as a player and a businessman, Johnson knows that repairing the Lakers will take time and perhaps more effort than any endeavor he has so far taken on.
How should Magic Johnson fix the Los Angeles Lakers? What’s the word on his new general manager? Our NBA Insiders debate.
Johnson has said that he will help lure free agents back to the Lakers after four straight offseasons of being turned down by their top targets, but how he plans to do so remains unclear.
Since 1979, Magic Johnson has played for the Lakers, coached the Lakers and even owned shares of the Lakers.