PBT Extra: Lakers bring in Magic Johnson, but will that change team direction?
Right now that is in an “advisor to the owners” role next to Jeanie Buss, but his influence likely will grow. As Jim Buss’ fades. That is the topic of this latest PBT Extra.
Intentionally or not, the Lakers have tanked the past two seasons (drafting second and landing D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram) while selling the Kobe farewell tour. Now that Kobe is gone the Laker development is forefront, and it is slow. How good this Lakers’ core can ultimately be is something we will not know for sure for years, however, Jim Buss promised the Lakers would be back to contending (or at least the second round) by this season. Buss is the favored son of the legendary Jerry Buss who the father left in charge of basketball operations. Magic has been a regular critic of Buss, and the buzz is the other siblings in the Buss trust (there are six total, including Jim and Jeanie) are none-to-thrilled with Jim’s job performance and work ethic. Buss is in trouble.
But where is Magic going to take this team? Superstars are not just walking through that door anymore just because of the Laker brand, there needs to be a foundation. Under Magic, will the Lakers completely abandon their slow build plan and trade quality assets for good-but-not-great veterans who can get them more wins now? Essentially becoming the Isiah Thomas Knicks?
It should be a concern for Lakers fans.