The Los Angeles Lakers announced that Magic Johnson has returned to the franchise as an advisor to Jeanie Buss, via a press release posted on Lakers.com. Johnson had his honorary “Vice President” title removed in June of 2016, but will now be involved with the Lakers on various official matters. The terms of the agreement were not made available.
It is unclear how involved in the day-to-day Johnson will be, but the press release indicates he will have his hands on several aspects of “basketball and business.”
Johnson’s reach across all things sports in the city of Los Angeles continues to widen, as he’s now involved with the Dodgers, Sparks, Los Angeles Football Club and now back to the Lakers. The only major sport he doesn’t have a role with in the city is now the NFL, though the two teams that have only recently made their way there are still settling in.
Magic’s “duties” in his advisory role cover a wide array of responsibilities, per the release from the Lakers:
Johnson's duties will include, but not be limited to, advising ownership on all business and basketball matters, collaborating with coaches, evaluating and mentoring players, assessing future franchise needs, and helping ownership to determine the best path for growth and success. Johnson will spend time at Lakers offices in El Segundo and will report directly to Jeanie Buss.
A statement from Johnson was also included in the release:
"Everyone knows my love for the Lakers," said Johnson. "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 timing on this is interesting. The Lakers are struggling after a strong start and the “Jim Buss deadline” is swiftly approaching with the team on course for another trip to the draft lottery. Only time will tell how active a role this is for the returning Laker legend, and what this means for the future of the front office.