Magic Johnson is the biggest star in Los Angeles right now. The Lakers president of basketball operations delivered on his promise to overhaul the roster by signing the best player in the world. While it remains to be seen how the Lakers will field a contending team around LeBron James, for now, Johnson’s legacy as a front office executive has increased by leaps and bounds.
On Wednesday, Johnson appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! where he spoke about the famous meeting that landed LeBron as well as the Lakers’ chances of beating the Warriors right now. And of course in his customary style, Johnson took some jabs at his own tampering fine and at LaVar Ball’s comments towards James:
Much of what Johnson says to Kimmel has already been reported but it always has a different vibe when it’s coming from the man of the hour himself.
Notably, it’s a good sign that Magic has been in constant communication with LeBron over the team’s free agency signings since the star agreed to come on board. While the signings have been strange – and signify that the Lakers are looking to the future to complete their roster – it’s at least important that James is content and knows what the front office’s plans are.
And of course, the Lakers still want to compete this season even if their myriad one-year deals handed out this summer signify their desire to be patient in their team building. That’s why Johnson isn’t shying away from the team’s competition including the Warriors who are still the team to beat:
“Everybody expects Golden State to win again. But I would love to have that challenge to play them in the Western Conference Finals if we can get to that position. I’m a competitor. So I’m not scared of Golden State. I’m not worried about Golden State. They don’t keep me up at night. I know that we have a really solid team, a good team, a competitive team, and a tough-minded team. And we have guys now who are winners.”
No promises from the Magic man, but a belief that the Lakers can pull another rabbit out of their hats.