LeBron James is going to own an NBA team one day. He’s made that clear for years now, and when he does, he will have the unconditional support of Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson.
In the lead up to the NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, Johnson spoke to Joe Vardon of The Athletic and said that he commends James for wanting to be his own boss, just like Johnson did when he was the face of the Lakers:
“That’s the way he should feel, and I wouldn’t expect anything less,” said Magic, who’s technically LeBron’s boss as Lakers team president. “I always wanted to be my own boss, too, and knock on wood and with God’s blessings, I’ve been able to do that. He should want to continue to do it, too.”
However, while Johnson is supportive of James’ business aspirations, he wants James to take care of business on the court while he’s still playing in Los Angeles first:
“Having Michael in Charlotte is great and it’s special, but we need more,” Magic said. “LeBron would be outstanding as the second player to be an owner in our league. We need more African-Americans, for sure, and LeBron would just be fantastic to become the next owner — after he leads the Lakers to an NBA championship, of course.”
Of those two things, James owning an NBA team at some point is probably the most likely.
The Lakers are currently three games out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference and their schedule doesn’t get much easier from here on out. In the event that they do sneak into the playoffs, there’s a good chance they’ll have to see the Golden State Warriors in the first round. The Warriors haven’t lost a playoff series since people were still doing the mannequin challenge.
The Lakers can get closer to a championship by acquiring another superstar player to pair with James this summer, but it doesn’t seem like they are currently frontrunners for any big-name free agents right now. Acquiring a marquee player via trade has been an entirely different headache for this particular regime.
A lot can change within the next few months, but James’ post-basketball career looks a lot more promising than the rest of his playing career right now. Until the Lakers turn things around, that will continue to be the case.