Johnson would have to get top notch free agents to give up millions to join the Lakers. Though the Lakers are far from championship contention a major part of building a contender is limiting distractions.
The Lakers plan to hire a general manager to replace Mitch Kupchak, who was sacked Tuesday after being part of the team’s front office for 30 years. Within that framework, Johnson envisioned his role as “a combination” of former Lakers owner Jerry Buss and former GM/VP Jerry West.
Additionally, the team announced that vice president of public relations John Black has been relieved of his duties, and Jim Buss, the son of the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss and one of the team’s owners, will no longer hold the title of executive vice president of basketball operations. Sam Amick reports Buss and Kupchak’s failure to land DeMarcus Cousins-who apparently could’ve been had for a draft pick and an autographed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar jersey-helped lead to their ouster. He was honorary vice president, which he stepped down from last June.
The appointment is part of a restructuring of the franchise’s front office, following a poor performance by the Lakers in recent seasons.
The dysfunctional relationship between Jim Buss and his sister Jeanie Buss has been well documented.
No doubt that Jim Buss and Kupchak have made some awful decisions here in the last few years which lead to Jeanie’s decision to believe that now was the time to make wholesale changes. The Lakers know they are heading in a new direction on the court and will now be heading in a new one in the front office as well.
Pelinka represented Bryant for many years before becoming the agent of players such as James Harden, Eric Gordon, Chris Bosh, Avery Bradley, Trevor Ariza and Andre Iguodala.
I’m dead serious about this story and I think it’s the smartest thing Magic ever did as a basketball player.
Here’s hoping that, after all the initial furor quiets and the routine day-to-day work beckons, Johnson remains as excited and dedicated as he has been in the last couple of weeks since being named advisor.
As for Buss’ comments on Kupchak and his run as GM dating back to 2000? The future of that $3 billion asset now sits on Johnson’s shoulders. Maybe he can walk the minefields of salary cap manipulation and roster construction and not be overbearing to the point where people in the organization are more interesting in currying favour that making the hard decisions that need to be made.