The Lakers announced on Tuesday that Ervin “Magic” Johnson is their president of basketball operations, firing GM Mitch Kupchak in the process.
Johnson’s rise to power was remarkably swift; he was only hired as an adviser to president Jeanie Buss on Feb. 2. Less than three weeks later, Buss handed the reins to the Lakers legend amid a team-wide power struggle, with Kupchak on the outs and her brother, Jim, relinquishing his title as executive VP of basketball operations.
The power play seems to quash the possibility that Phil Jackson will leave his role as Knicks president this offseason to join his former fiancee with the Lakers.
“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. ” … 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.”
Johnson pledged to “work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”