The Los Angeles Lakers will bring in one of the franchise’s all-time greats to bring the team back to life.
Magic Johnson is now the President of basketball operations. Johnson is a Hall of Fame player after his lustrous career with the Lakers from 1979-1991. This is the first domino to fall for the Lakers organization. By giving Magic control of the team, Mitch Kupchak has been removed as the General Manager. Lakers Owner, Jeanie Buss, also fired the executive vice president of the team which happens to be her brother, Jim Buss. The Buss siblings inherited the organization from their father, Jerry Buss, so Jim will still retain his share of the team. He will just have zero say what goes on inside the franchise.
The move to fire Kupchak was long overdue. The Lakers are in the midst of their worst four-year span in team history. Kupchak was brought in as the GM of the Lakers in 2003 after Hall of Famer Jerry West left the team. The new GM obtained one of the best teams in league history with a dominant Shaquille O’Neal, hall of fame coach Phil Jackson and a young Kobe Bryant. The team just won three titles from 2002, so it was hard to imagine Kupchak wrecking this organization.
Two years later, Shaq was run out of town to Miami, and all of the veterans from the championship teams were either old or gone. The team turned into Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant carrying a team of scrubs. After several years of mediocrity, Kupchak was able to bring in players like Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom to go along with Kobe and Phil to win two championships in 2009 and 2010.
Since then, Kobe retired as well as Coach Jackson. The Lakers have not been the same since and now are the laughing stock of the NBA. The team needs a fresh start, and Magic Johnson could be the first piece to bringing the franchise with the second-most championships back. Johnson will run the Lakers as president, but the team is still looking for a new GM to replace Kupchak.
Multiple candidates have surfaced as potential suitors for the GM position. Rob Pelinka could be an answer to fill the void. He is the President and CEO of Landmark Sports Agency. Pelinka represents many NBA players such as Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Andre Drummond, and Andre Iguodala. Pelinka is already a Los Angeles resident and has plenty of resources to be a solid GM.
Another name floating around is Arn Tellem who is a very powerful agent in both basketball and baseball. Tellem has worked with the Detroit Pistons since 2015.