Magic Johnson may not be officially a part of the Los Angeles Lakers. But he very much believes that the success the Lakers are currently enjoying is largely in part because of the five-time world champion.
Currently, the Lakers are a league best 24-4, including a 10-2 home record and a 14-2 away record.
“This team would not be in the position it’s in without me,” Johnson told Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times.
Johnson, the former Lakers’ President of Basketball Operations, indicated his recruiting of superstar LeBron James, the cap-clearing moves for James’ contract as well as drafting the pieces needed to complete the trade for superstar Anthony Davis as moves needed to get the Lakers to where they are today.
“This was my strategy, this is what I thought we’d be in three years,” Johnson noted. “I knew we were on the right track. Everybody wanted to do it their way, but I’m good with who I am. … I think people respect what I’ve done for the team.”
Johnson resigned from his position prior to the last game of the 2018-2019 season, and held a resignation press conference without notifying Pelinka or team owner Jeanie Buss.
Johnson is wholeheartedly right about taking credit in the Lakers’ success, though the way he left the Lakers’ organization was questionable, especially after trading the likes of point guard D’Angelo Russell in an attempt to clear cap space to eventually sign LeBron James, which happened in the summer of 2018.
Those moves prove Magic was serious about the Lakers, but in the end, Magic felt betrayed by Pelinka, confirming such a position on ESPN’s First Take.
The Lakers gear up for the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night.
Written by Robert Magobet