Over two months ago, Magic Johnson sent shockwaves throughout the NBA when he resigned from his job as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations — a position that was created for him just two years prior — on the night of the team’s regular season finale. It was, in a word, magical.
Two months later, and Johnson is celebrating the arrival of Anthony Davis in Los Angeles like everyone else. In an interview with Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Johnson said he was ecstatic to find out that the Lakers had successfully traded for Davis, something he was unable to do during his time in the front office:
“I came out and my phone was just blowing up and people were stopping me and saying, ‘Are you happy?’ I didn’t know what they were talking about,” Johnson said Saturday afternoon. “They were jumping up and down and everybody hugged me. This is the greatest news any Laker fan could receive. Anthony Davis is a Laker. Wow! Watch out! Watch out! We are back, baby.”
Johnson event went out of his way to congratulate general manager Rob Pelinka, who he’s publicly admitted to not having the best working relationship with before:
“Our leaders stepped up for the L.A. fan base and for LeBron,” Johnson said. “And despite what Rob and I have gone through, I want to congratulate him. He pulled off a major trade for the Lakers, and just congratulations to him. We’re back, we’re back, we’re back where we should be and in the championship hunt. …
“You got three starters for sure with [Kyle] Kuzma, LeBron and Anthony Davis. Now you can fill it out. I think when free agents saw this trade, they are going to want to come to Los Angeles now. I think this is exciting for all of us Laker fans, and it’s just the start of what could be a big, big summer, maybe the biggest summer in Laker history.”
The Lakers seem to feel the same way as Johnson, as they’re reportedly looking at ways to clear up the cap space necessary to sign a max-level free agent.
Will they be able to pull it off? Only time will tell, but it’s an exciting (and terrifying) time to be a Lakers fan. And if they manage to clear that space and land a max guy? Johnson may be right about that whole “biggest summer in Laker history” thing.