Magic Johnson has been named president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, the team announced on Tuesday, just two days before the NBA’s trade deadline.
In addition, longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak has been relieved of his duties, effective immediately, and Jim Buss will no longer hold his role as executive vice president of basketball operations.
This news comes just three weeks after Johnson was brought back to the Lakers organization as an ownership adviser to assist team executive Jeanie Buss in “all areas of basketball” and just two weeks after Johnson told USA TODAY Sports’ Josh Peter that he eventually wants to “call the shots” within the organization.
“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 in a statement Tuesday. “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.”
Johnson, who is a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the WNBA’s L.A. Sparks, won five championships and earned three MVP awards during his 13 NBA seasons — all of which he spent with the Lakers. He is widely considered the greatest point guard in NBA history.
“It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as president of basketball operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family,” said Johnson. “Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”
Source: USA Today | AJ Neuharth-Keusch