Following Magic Johnson’s abrupt resignation earlier this month, the Los Angeles Lakers still don’t technically have a president of basketball operations.
While it’s not uncommon for a team to not have a president of basketball operations, it’s usually because they have an experienced basketball executive overseeing day-to-day basketball operations. In spite of his experience as an executive of a player agency, general manager Rob Pelinka is not that.
If the Lakers still plan on replacing Johnson, could Pelinka’s former client and longtime friend Kobe Bryant join him in the front office? Bryant said there’s no chance that happens during an appearance on “The Ellen Show” on Friday:
Ellen: So, can I ask you, were you surprised that Magic Johnson stepped down, was that a surprise to everybody?
Kobe: Little bit (smiles). Little bit of a shocker, yeah.
Ellen: And will you be stepping in?
Kobe: No. No. Nope. Nope. I’m staying right on the sideline and coaching my daughters.
Bryant isn’t the only living Lakers legend to shoot down the possibility of returning to Los Angeles to try and right the ship. Pat Riley, the coach of the historic 1980s “Showtime” Lakers and current Miami Heat team president, also said he has no interest in replacing Johnson.
At this point, it’s safe to say the Lakers aren’t going to be saved by a former franchise legend. In fact, it doesn’t sound like anyone from the outside will be coming in to help fix the team’s glaring issues.
Unless something changes over the next few days, all signs point to Pelinka taking on the dual responsibility of president of basketball operations and general manager. Is inaction the best course of action the Lakers can take at this point? Probably not, but I guess we’ll find out sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, Bryant is going to continue writing books, winning awards in film and television and becoming the best damn youth girls basketball coach in the world.