If Magic Johnson has his way, Jim Buss won’t be the Los Angeles Lakers’ Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for much longer.
No, seriously, he said as much (kind of) during an appearance on ESPN’s First Take, per the Los Angeles Times’ Tania Ganguli (h/t Silver Screen and Roll):
Magic Johnson said on First Take he wants to be the Lakers Pres. of Basketball Ops. Jim Buss is currently the Lakers EVP of basketball ops. pic.twitter.com/HvC3n32RD5
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) February 14, 2017
Don’t worry Lakers fans, I’m sure this is fine.
Okay, actually, I’m not the least bit sure of that. It’s weird, bordering on ridiculous, and definitely hysterical. But I’m not sure it’s fine.
There’s really no knowing how prominent Johnson’s advisory role within the Lakers’ organization actually is. Does the team want him to take over for Buss, who, per his own words, is supposed to step down if the Lakers aren’t in position to contend after this season? Or was it largely a public relations-friendly move that Johnson is overestimating and, thus, taking too far?
Yours truly leans toward the latter, if only because it’s little naive to think Johnson would be a demonstrative upgrade over Buss. The Lakers have put everything into pushing forward, into ferrying themselves into the modern-day era, and turning to Johnson would once again entail them searching for answers in the past.
This isn’t to say Buss is the answer. Truthfully, at this point, the answer may not be important.
So long as the Lakers stay out of head coach Luke Walton’s way and don’t revert to trading first-round draft picks, they should be fine regardless of who holds the often-innocuous title of team president.