On some level, the reason so many Los Angeles Lakers fans get excited when the team says it wants its players to work out with Kobe Bryant is the same reason they were happy the team hired Magic Johnson: It’s cool to see your favorite team’s current players get to pick the brains of its past greats.
Johnson will obviously be doing a lot more than that, and the tips he gives the young Lakers aren’t the main way he’ll help return the franchise to relevance, but there is an intangible benefit to having members of a young team around a franchise great on a regular basis.
It’s impossible to know what Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Tarik Black were laughing with Johnson about in the photo Randle posted on Instagram (below), and it may have had nothing to do with basketball.
Even if it didn’t, though, this type of relationship-building with players can only make them more receptive to his tips down the road, and his ability to create relationships like that was cited as one of the top reasons Johnson would make a good executive:
Pictures like this are also the exact opposite of the way the last front office regime was presented publicly, so we’ll see if Johnson’s more hands-on approach will lead to better results.
Either that, or I just WAY over-analyzed an Instagram picture. Or both.