One week has passed since Magic Johnson shocked everyone, including his boss, by announcing that he would be resigning from his post as the Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations. Since that decision, the Lakers have begun their search for a new head coach, managed by Rob Pelinka, but have been quiet in finding a replacement for Johnson in their front office.
The fear felt by Lakers fans that the team will simply elevate Pelinka’s power and/or hire an in-house retread like Kurt Rambis is matched only by rival organizations’ happiness. This from Marc Stein of the New York Times:
In numerous rival organizations, there is both shock and relief that the Lakers haven’t responded to events of the past week by chasing the likes of Golden State’s Bob Myers, San Antonio’s R.C. Buford and Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti before they go looking for a new coach.
As we’ve mentioned before on this site, the Lakers have all the built-in advantages to make an exceptional hire. They have the money. They have the location. They have a roster featuring the best player in the world, talented, young projects and all their first-round picks moving forward. They have the allure.
At least some league insiders have mentioned that they expected the team to be aggressive in going after the Golden State Warriors’ Bob Myers, who has ties to Los Angeles as a UCLA alum. And the Lakers have been reported to want to be “patient” in their hiring process. For the optimists among you, perhaps that means they are pursuing the executives whose teams are currently in the postseason.
In a way, the Lakers got unlucky. Magic resigned at the worst time. The coach had to be fired and replaced and the most important offseason in some time occurs just weeks after the conclusion of the Finals. If Myers is hypothetically the choice, he would likely not be able to join the team until a week or two before the draft and start of free agency.
All that said, it is still gravely concerning that there has been no firm reporting on the Lakers’ plans in the front office with no reports of interviews or interest or hiring of a search firm like most organizations do these days.
It is, without a doubt, the biggest decision Jeanie Buss will make as the owner of the Lakers. Right now, it’s not looking like she will make the correct one.