Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Magic Johnson Returns to Lakers as an Adviser to Jeanie Buss

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Magic Johnson Returns to Lakers as an Adviser to Jeanie Buss

Article excerpt

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - Magic Johnson returned to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday as an adviser to owner Jeanie Buss, possibly signaling a change in the power structure of the 16-time NBA champion franchise. Johnson, one of the most beloved players in franchise history, will assist Buss "in all areas of basketball and business, according to the team's news release.

"We are thrilled and honored to add Magic's expertise and abilities, and I look forward to working alongside him, Jeanie Buss said.

Buss' brother, Jim, currently runs the Lakers' basketball operations with general manager Mitch Kupchak, but Los Angeles is in the midst of its fourth consecutive terrible season during the longest playoff drought in franchise history.

The Lakers say Johnson will report directly to Jeanie Buss, who has stayed out of basketball operations during her four years running the franchise following the death of her father, Jerry. But Johnson's arrival seems to signal her desire for more influence in the on-court product of a team that was the NBA's most exciting during Magic's Showtime playing days.

"Everyone knows my love for the Lakers, Johnson said. "Over the years, I have considered other management opportunities, however my devotion to the game and Los Angeles make the Lakers my first and only choice. I will do everything in my power to help return the Lakers to their rightful place among the elite teams of the NBA.

The Lakers went through the worst times in their glowing history over the previous three seasons after failing in their 2012-13 attempt to chase a title with Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. While Bryant struggled with injuries, the Lakers posted the worst record in franchise history for three straight seasons, culminating in last year's 17-65 embarrassment in Bryant's 20th and final campaign.

The current Lakers are much more entertaining under first-year coach Luke Walton, but they still have the NBA's third-worst record at 17-34 heading into a five-game road trip starting Thursday in Washington. …

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