Since his arrival back with the Los Angeles Lakers, the vast majority of the speculation surrounding the hiring as centered on Magic Johnson’s public criticism of Jim Buss and what that might mean for the latter after this season. The two (and Mitch Kupchak) are meeting Monday, and Johnson spoke about what he’d like to come out of such a meeting while on ESPN Tuesday morning.
This is part of a whirlwind media tour Johnson has been on since the announcement of his hiring that’s included stops on Spectrum SportsNet, a brief USA Today interview while at the UCLA-Oregon game, CBS News, ESPN “First Take” and now SportsCenter.
There hasn’t been time to meet with Luke Walton, D’Angelo Russell or the front office, but that’s neither here nor there, or something like that.
Hannah Storm conducted the interview on SportsCenter and asked what Magic has to have come out of his meeting with Kupchak and Buss, and this is what he had to say.
"What was your thinking for years ago, and bring me up to today, and then what are you thinking moving forward. I'll listen to that, and then I want to say 'this is my thinking,' and then how can we merge these two thinkings together, and come up with a solution and a plan that's going to get the Lakers moving back forward again."
It’s good to see Johnson isn’t entering the meeting with an inflexible agenda and hopes to work with Buss and Kupchak rather than run them out of town. Magic’s respect for Kupchak is very well-known, but so is his disdain for Jim.
As Mitch and Jim’s roles in their professional relationship have remained so ambiguous, it’s often hard to separate them from each other without inside knowledge of the situation. If Magic’s meeting with those two Monday provides some clarity back to at least Jeanie (and preferably people outside the organization to a certain extent), the transition of bringing Magic in might go just a little more smoothly.
So, for now, we wait to hear about how the meeting might go Monday and we’ll probably continue to get quotes about what Magic hopes to do for the team he won five NBA championships with.