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Published: Wed, February 22, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Magic Johnson Now Calling Shots For Lakers After Front Office Shakeup

Magic Johnson Now Calling Shots For Lakers After Front Office Shakeup

As the President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson will have plenty of say in the future moves the Lakers will do if they do any. "Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect", referring to her father, the late Lakers owner.

"The first call I make if I'm in charge: Kobe Bryant", Johnson said on ESPN.

Jeanie Buss and Magic and head coach Luke Walton are now searching for the team's next general manager, the team said. Buss stood firm behind her decision, hoping to "establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness".

Johnson is a Hall-of-Famer as a player after leading the Lakers to five championships in the 1980s.

Cousins was dealt to the New Orleans Pelicans this week, and there are rumblings that both Jeanie Buss and Johnson were upset at the Lakers' failure to add the league's best center for the sake of an unproven rookie. That being said, Pelinka is the president and CEO of Landmark Sports Agency, and for the Lakers to bring him on as their new GM he'd need to divest from his agency which is not a process that can happen overnight.

Now it's all in Johnson's hands, just in time for Thursday's National Basketball Association trade deadline, and that may not be a coincidence.

The Lakers are now 19-39, 14th in the West, hoping to land a top-three pick, otherwise it goes to the Philadelphia 76ers. Kupchak had been involved with the team's front office since the mid-eighties, when he took on the role as assistant general manager (he served under Jerry West).

Johnson's official title is president of basketball operations.

Johnson was expected to meet with Jim Buss and Kupchak on Monday and Tuesday of this week, but scheduling issues reportedly pushed Monday's meeting between the trio back.

Even taking away his past as a basketball legend, the managerial skills he's shown throughout his business career should earn him equity to make the right decisions in running the organization. Pelinka is now a player agent and Lakers' fans will remember him as Kobe Bryant's representation. We have a great coach in [Walton] and good young players. Johnson said. "I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court".

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