Vote: Where will the Lakers be in three years with Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations?
Has the magic returned to the Los Angeles Lakers?
With the drastic move to change the team's leadership, Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss certainly hopes so.
On Tuesday, the Lakers named team legend Magic Johnson president of basketball operations while firing longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak and removing Jim Buss as executive vice president of basketball operations.
"I wouldn't be sitting here if it was a good situation," Johnson said Tuesday afternoon at the team's practice facility. "I understand what I'm up against, but I'm here, and I'm here for the long haul, and eventually we will turn it around."
The Hall of Famer is confident he can rebuild the Lakers into championship contenders.
But what do you think? Will Magic get the job done?
While Johnson has expressed optimism about turning around the franchise, it certainly won't be easy.
Not only are the Lakers coming off the worst season in franchise history (17-65), but they've also missed the playoffs three years in a row, the longest postseason drought in team history.
At 19-39 this season, the Lakers have the third-worst record in the NBA. They enter Friday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder having lost seven of their past 10 games.
Can the greatest Laker ever save the worst Lakers ever?: The Los Angeles Lakers now belong to Earvin Johnson, and there’s nothing magic about it. The smiling, charismatic former star has been handed the serious job of fixing this city’s crown jewel sports franchise, and it will require more than a no-look pass or baby sky hook. -- Los Angeles Times
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, exec Jim Buss relieved of duties as Magic Johnson takes over basketball operations: On one of the most dramatic days in the history of the Lakers, the woman at the center of it all made drastic changes Tuesday aiming to help resuscitate the team. Jeanie Buss, the Lakers’ governor and president, fired her brother, Jim Buss, the head of basketball operations. She fired general manager Mitch Kupchak, who has been a Laker for more than 35 years. She fired John Black, the team’s spokesman for more than two decades. -- Los Angeles Times
Rob Pelinka to be new Lakers general manager: Magic Johnson, maybe the best basketball player ever to put on a uniform in Los Angeles, sat next to his new boss Tuesday afternoon inside a television studio and talked about his vision for his organization, the Lakers. -- Los Angeles Times
Lakers trade Lou Williams to Houston for Corey Brewer, first-round pick: Lou Williams was never one to pay attention to trade rumors. Corey Brewer didn't think he’d have to this year. On Tuesday afternoon the two players were part of the same deal, less than 48 hours before the NBA’s trade deadline. The Lakers, most likely lottery-bound, agreed to send shooting guard Williams to the playoff-bound Houston Rockets in exchange for small forward Brewer and a future first-round draft pick. -- Los Angeles Times
Lakers' Magic Johnson plans to call shots, while pledging to 'empower' next GM: With Magic Johnson determined to run a fast break toward rebuilding his prized Lakers, he will face two questions that defined his Hall of Fame career. Will Johnson lead the Lakers by delegating to others? Or will Johnson look to score himself? After blending those qualities to lead the Lakers to five NBA championships during the Showtime Era, how will Johnson approach his next job as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations? -- The Orange County Register
How Lakers' Jim Buss did himself in: The Bellagio was quiet save for the industrial vacuum cleaner an employee pushed over the carpet. Across the casino, Jim Buss cut a solitary figure in front of an otherwise unattended bank of KISS-themed slot machines. The Lakers top basketball executive sat left alone with his thoughts, credits in the machine and his customary pack of Newports. -- The Orange County Register
Lakers are now officially out of scapegoats: Laker apocalypse now ... So much for being a family-style organization, even if no one will lament Jim Buss’ departure and GM Mitch Kupchak was clearly in the crosshairs. Popular as these moves are among Lakers fans, the biggest shakeup in franchise history leaves Magic Johnson in charge amid reports that Rob Pelinka, Kobe Bryant’s former agent, will replace Kupchak. -- The Orange County Register
Lakers expected to hire Rob Pelinka as next general manager: For their next front office move, the Lakers plan to hire a man well known for his connection to Kobe Bryant. But after spending countless years negotiating contracts for Bryant and other NBA players, longtime player agent Rob Pelinka will soon be negotiating deals as the Lakers’ general manager. Although the Lakers had not announced the deal as of Tuesday night, they are reportedly finalizing what will be a multiyear deal. -- The Orange County Register
Lakers' stale, hopeless saga gets a dose of Magic: First, the Lakers owe a major salute to Mitch Kupchak. Not the Kupchak who was shoehorned into the big chair with Jim Buss when the Lakers disastrously traded for Steve Nash and signed Dwight Howard and soared helplessly into space like Elton John’s Rocket Man. -- The Orange County Register
Lakers trade Lou Williams to Houston Rockets for Corey Brewer, first-round pick: The Lakers didn’t limit their changes to the front office on Tuesday. They also started making changes to their roster, too. The Lakers traded veteran guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets for veteran small forward Corey Brewer and a first-round pick. -- The Orange County Register
How should Magic Johnson fix the Los Angeles Lakers? What about his new general manager?
How many future stars are already on the Lakers' roster?
Our NBA Insiders debate.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Magic Johnson strolled into the conference room wearing his trademark smile, television-ready in a trim black suit, light blue shirt and black tie. All along the walls surrounding him were photos of the Los Angeles Lakers' glorious past, from fellow legendary players to snapshots of iconic games and championship parades -- all moments that have felt very distant as the franchise has slipped into dysfunction and irrelevance.
On one wall, a photo of Dr. Jerry Buss peered outward. In the frame, the Lakers' late patriarch, who orchestrated their rise, is celebrating their 1987 championship win over Boston. Dr. Buss is beaming, holding a trophy, the fourth of the Lakers' five titles during their Showtime 1980s era. His hair is soaked in champagne. Johnson was his star point guard, and it was beneath that photo that Johnson sat, at the head of the table, just as he always wanted.
"I wouldn't be sitting here if it was a good situation," Johnson, the Lakers' new president of basketball operations, said Tuesday afternoon at the team's practice facility, speaking to a small group of reporters who cover the team. "I understand what I'm up against, but I'm here, and I'm here for the long haul, and eventually we will turn it around."
Johnson said he had originally planned to meet with longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss on Tuesday. Instead, the team announced those two had been fired and that Johnson had been elevated to his new role.