In a move that seemed destined from the minute he was hired, Magic Johnson has officially taken a role in the Lakers’ front office. Johnson has been promoted to President of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers in a move announced by the team this morning.
Along with the move, current President of Basketball Operations Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak have been relieved of their duties.
“Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Jeanie Buss said. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”
This new direction also signified the end of the Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss era. One could see the writing on the wall with the reports of family drama and tension between Jeanie and her brother.
In the last few weeks, Johnson hinted at the possibility of ascending toward the top of basketball operations, but no one could see him getting that position this quickly.
Kupchak had been a valuable general manager of the Lakers, but the lack of success and quality free agents signing did not help his cause. Jim Buss will still be a part of the Lakers as he is a part owner of the team.
Along with the move at the top, the Lakers have also relieved John Black of his duties as Vice President of Public Relations.