Magic Johnson Looking for Explanations from Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak

Darius Soriano —  February 14, 2017

Just as he showed as a player during the Showtime Era, Magic Johnson is proving to be very comfortable in the spotlight after being brought on as an advisor to Jeanie Buss.

Since his hiring was announced only 12 days ago, Magic has made an appearance with the Lakers’ TV partner for an interview, he’s made on the record comments to USA today saying he wants to “call the shots”, he (or someone close to him) sourced comments to ESPN which implicated Mitch Kupchak, he’s gone on CBS radio, and today he did an interview with Hannah Storm on ESPN.

That’s more media hits in less than two weeks than Jim Buss has made in two years.

Magic’s comments to Storm are pretty straight forward, even when deflecting. He says it’s “Jeanie’s decision” on whether Jim will be held to his self imposed timeline for contention, he notes that “change is needed” at the top — even if only from an approach standpoint, and adds that an examination of some of the top franchises is in order in order to “copy” some of what they have done in order to be successful.

The interesting nugget from the above segment, though, is Magic saying he’s going to speak with Jim and Mitch soon and ask them for explanations on past moves and then also inquire about their vision for the future. There’s nothing out of the ordinary here, but if I were speaking to Magic, I would remind him that looking a certain decisions with the benefit of hindsight isn’t always as helpful since it’s nearly impossible to replicate the sense of urgency or capture the circumstance of the environment which led to those decisions.

Just a brief sampling of what I mean:

  • A little over 5 years ago, the “Veto” set into action a series of decisions which cascaded negatively. Be it the sense of betrayal Paul Gasol had to play with for his remaining time with the team, to the Odom trade, to the need to use that traded player exception from that deal within a year which led to the Nash deal, to Nash’s injury to…you get the point.
  • Dr. Buss’ death created not only a sense of mourning and impacted how the team carried forward without their long time patriarch, but it’s impossible to truly recreate how his failing health may have impacted decisions which had longstanding consequences for the front office and the organization at whole on and off the court. Whether it was “win now” trades or coaching hires (there are still whispers about how much Dr. Buss influenced choosing D’Antoni over Phil or how hiring Byron was “something Dr. Buss would have wanted”), the effects of those decisions live on today and I don’t know how you properly measure the feelings which went into making them at the time.
  • The complications of dealing with Kobe and his expiring contract right at the time he tore his achilles. I won’t rehash the Kobe deal now, but I will say that I do not think any sort of hindsight analysis does credit to the feelings within the organization on how to deal with what was a devastating injury which happened to, arguably, the best player who had ever worn the uniform and had a cult following not just in your home market, but around the world.

Those are only three examples, but there are more.

I’m not bringing up those things to obscure how some of the other decisions made have played out. I have been critical of this front office’s approach in several areas, most notably their hiring of Byron, but also of their general approach in free agency where they continued to chase star players for multiple summers while losing out on viable mid-priced talents which could have helped the team. Further exacerbating those decisions is that when the team finally did chase “non-star” types, they did so in the year which the salary cap spiked, necessitating the types of massive overpays which will have little forgiveness in the coming seasons and much less than similar overpays in the pre-new TV deal free agent market would have.

There’s little spin to make here and Mitch and Jim will simply need to own those missteps. But, as noted above, they will also need to make sure they provide the full context to what has led to the decline of the on-court product over the years.

And I hope Magic is receptive to that. Not because I necessarily want Jim and Mitch to remain in their jobs, but because any true self analysis and forward projections must do its best to not only do an accounting of the failures, but to understand the process which went into them. Because, as Magic noted above, the Lakers need to look at other teams and figure out what they do to be successful and then copy it. And I can guarantee, one of the major themes will be valuing process as much or more than results.

Darius Soriano

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to Magic Johnson Looking for Explanations from Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak

  1. TempleOfJamesWorthy February 14, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Preach, Brother Darius!

    As I constantly remind people on this forum, <A HREF=””>Hindsight Bias</A> is a poor way to evaluate the work of Jim/Mitch/the FO over the past several years.

    Yes, many of their decisions didn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean those decisions were indefensible at the time they were made. Not all things are predictable and sometimes a run of bad luck is just a run of bad luck.

    Sure, if the FO knew ahead of time that Evil Emperor Stern would quash the CP3 trade, that Kobe would blow out his Achilles, that the hyped super team of Howard/Kobe/Gasol/Nash would be utterly dysfunctional, etc., they would have made different decisions. But they didn’t. And, in most cases, they had no way of knowing ahead of time.

    I’m not sure what unique perspective Magic Johnson can bring to this process.


  2. darius:  nice observations all around.  I think in the end, Magic will bulldoze his way through the “process” and advise Jeanie that change(s) need to be made. He will point to the results and not the circumstances these past few years and conclude change is necessary; starting with Jim Buss;  the well intentioned, worst luck ever; soon to be former vp of basketball operations for the los angeles lakers.  Possibly, Mitch Kupchak too will be the former general manager for the los angeles lakers. 
    After this becomes official;  replacement(s) will be considered; am sure that is something in the back of magic’s mind already.  Keeping fingers crossed that Jerry West is in the front of magic’s mind.
    Tonite, back at good old staples and back in action vs sacto’s kings.
    Go lakers


  3. Our record has been abysmal the last few seasons. Regardless of the circumstances, times, happenings, etc. the FO is ultimately responsible for the current state of the Lakers. They will have to “wear it’ just as they are responsible for the good things the team has accomplished. It’s all part of doing business in the NBA. 
    I have no idea what Magic will bring to the table but for better or worse we needed an infusion of new blood and direction. 
    We have had so much negative press that it is refreshing to see that we have gotten mostly positive media from all of this for a change. The best is yet to come. 
    GO LA!


  4. TempleOfJamesWorthy February 14, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I’d like to add two more observations. First,  I find it disquieting Magic Johnson says, if he were appointed Lakers operational czar, his first call would be to Kobe Bryant.

    Bryant, while a ***brilliant*** individual player knows next to nothing about how to manage an organization for the long term. His input on management decisions would more likely be trivial or useless than helpful in any way.

    Second, if Magic is honest about how a rebuild will take 3-5 years, then he has little cause for complaint about current Laker management. The Lakers long-needed rebuild was held hostage to the 3-year Kobe Bryant Thank You Contract Retirement Tour and Shameless Gunning Show. THIS year is the first real year of the rebuild.

    Consider the 2008-2009 OKC Thunder (the first year the team had both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook). That team finshed 23-59 (.280 win %). This year’s Lakers have a .339 win %. THAT’s what rebuilding looks like. Replacing the Lakers’ front office won’t change the necessary patience and luck required.


  5. “change is needed at the top” Magic has been complaining about this for as many years as I have.
    “certain decisions with the benefit of hindsight”   Well if you remain silent or compliment moves as they are made – then question them later – that is not fair.  However if you question the moves as they are made and then the moves turn out to be bad – this is not questioning with the benefit of hindsight, rather it is being correct while the FO is incorrect.   Magic has correctly been questioning the FO for years and he is certainly not alone.  I have been lambasting the FO for years and the situation just gets worse.   At this point – anything to get Jim out is a move in the right direction.
    “examination of some of the top franchises is in order in order to “copy” some of what they have done in order to be successful.”    The Spurs for example have an owner who is not at all involved in basketball decisions.   Then again – about 27 other teams share this fact.   Perhaps we could “copy” that.
    “the “Veto” set into action a series of decisions which cascaded negatively.”    We got screwed by the VETO, however the decisions after that were made by the FO.    We dumped Lamar,   we hired a guy (MDA) who hated Pau,   we traded for DH and then hired a coach who was a polar opposite, we completely dissed our legendary coach in order to hire a guy who could not coach 2 seven footers in any of his schemes,   we traded a million picks for Nash  (yes we used the exception as well), and we made a bunch of questionable deals like trading 1st rounders for Sessions and Hill.    We then made a travesty of all of FA attempts,   signed ridiculous deals like Mosgov and Deng,  and yes – we signed the Kobe contract while he was recovering from Achilles surgery.    These were all decisions by the FO  – they were not some series of dominoes that nobody had control over.
    Been saying all of this for years so perhaps this was “foresight”.   No – I did not disagree with all of these moves (most of them though) – but with the exception of a few weeks in the Fall of 2012 (when I lost my mind), I have been consistently negative of the FO.   It is now clear that we have wasted half a decade with Jim playing Fantasy Basketball with our team and it is time for this to stop.
    Don’t worry about my views however.    This decision is made.    Jim is done.    The only question is whether we waste one more Summer in order to make the move.


  6. I think Jeanie brought in Magic knowing what he would do and say,..
    He’s saying what she would like to, but cannot due to her position not only in the organization, but in the family. 
    People may complain and forecast what Magic will accomplish, or not, however imo, any change at this point, which has progression in mind, is worth experimenting with.


  7. _ Robert _ ” At this point – anything to get Jim out is a move in the right direction.”

    Please don’t be offended, but that is  the worst reasoning
    that can be used to remove Jim or Mitch from their current position.  Change for the sake of change is a terrible
    idea under any circumstance.  Change has
    to have purpose.  If the purpose is to
    remove Jim and replace him with a more capable VP of BB Ops, then so be
    it.  But if the purpose behind removing
    Jim is to replace him with Byron Scott or some other inept replacement, then we
    are actually better off maintaining Jim in his spot until a suitable
    replacement can be made.  I get that you genuinely
    hate Jim.  Heck, I think anyone who
    frequents this site gets that.  However,
    don’t let that hate lead you to supporting wrong decisions.
    Personally, I agree with the feeling many people are having
    that the problem with the Laker organization is the nepotism.  I can’t think of a single successful franchise
    that operates in this manner (the only other franchise close to this is the
    Raiders – and that’s not a complimentary comparison).   Having
    said that, Jim is only one of the symptoms of that illness.  Jeannie, as loveable as she is, has handled
    the ongoing disputes with her brother in an amateurish unprofessional manner.  Even die hard Jim haters have to own up to
    this fact. If any of you disagree, I suggest you look at her last five TV
    interviews and let me know how many times she mentions she felt betrayed by her
    brother’s handling of Phil.  Heck, look
    at the way she is going about forcing her brother out now.  Sure, its smart to bring in Magic to be the
    bad guy that makes the “decision” to fire her brother – but who in the world
    really thinks the decision has not already been made by her?  This is truly an amateurish way to handle

    Having said this, I will not disagree that there are valid
    reasons to fire Jim.  However, if you are
    being honest with yourself you should also see that there are valid reasons for
    Jeannie herself to step down.  Heck, you
    even make the compelling argument that NBA owners should be hands off.  I wholeheartedly agree with you on this.  For this reason, I ask you to consider the
    following:  Sure, fire Jim, but what good
    is that when you have two more of Dr. Buss’ sons waiting in the wings?  How do you think that makes Mitch (if he
    stays) or Ryan West feel as far as their future job security and promotion
    opportunities?  Does anyone on this site
    realistically expect to be able to entice top quality FO candidates to run this
    organization knowing that at any moment in time Jeannie may promote her two
    younger brothers ahead of them or worse, make them your boss despite the fact
    you are more experienced and qualified?  You don’t believe me?  Well, look at the impact Jeannie’s relationship with Phil had on making Jerry West,
    the Logo, leave the Lakers and look at the way she reacted when her brother
    ignored Phil.  Does that give you a vote
    of confidence that she can separate business from her personal life/feelings?  A further example: do you remember how upset
    she was when Rambis was not hired as head coach (Rambis’ wife and Jeannie are
    extremely good friends and Phil loved Rambis)? Knowing the relationship she has with
    Magic, do you really think she would fire Magic if he is not performing or give
    him extra chance after extra chance like she did with her own brother, whom she
    allegedly does not like?

    What I am getting at is the following:  All of
    the Buss kids need to step away from our Lakers.  Please. 
    The organization would be better served with Jeannie functioning only as
    the Board of Governor’s rep, the Buss trust operating as the final decision
    maker, and with all other business and basketball decisions being made by
    professionals not related to the Buss family. 
     Sure, bring Magic in.  But also bring in some additional competent
    guys to replace Jeannie and two younger Buss kids.  As far as Magic, go ahead and make his FO
    dream come true.  But if he is not making
    it as an FO guy, then get rid of him as quickly as possible.  Don’t make the same mistake the Knicks are
    now making with Phil.


  8. When I saw the heading for this post, I thought, well, Magic’s not the only person looking for explanations from Buss and Kupchak.

    BTW, Jerry West isn’t the answer to any of the Laker’s questions. I admire the man beyond all reason, but he is pushing 80 and is in ill health. The Lakers need to embrace the future rather than look to the past, glorious though it may be.

    Magic “calling the shots” and relying on Kobe of all people for any management input? Uh, no.


  9. Terrets _ Robert _  Agree big time with your assessment of Jeanie. She appears to have the emotional profile of a 12 year old.


  10. TempleOfJamesWorthy  yes I also find it disquieting that Magic’s stated “first call” would be to Kobe. Unless, it’s just to say ‘hi”.

    Certainly, not for management input.  (I hope).

    While I’m hoping, I wouldn’t want Magic having anything to do with operational matters. Window dressing, PR? OK.


  11. Terrets: I would love to have the Buss Family sell the team or have all of them step away.   If you are aware of a plan to make that happen – I am in favor of it.
    In the interim – I want all Buss Family members out of Basketball Operations.   That means Jim must go.   Getting Jim out is not an easy task.   His replacement will be much easier to fire.


  12. I dunno calling Kobe even arguably the best Laker ever … how’s that work when KAJ is the best player of all time, not even “merely”  the best Laker?

    Darius, did you mean to say Kobe is arguably the most divisive Laker ever? THAT, I would agree with.


  13. Still R  Yea – but I am giving you only two choices:
    1) Status quo with Jim + Mitch
    2) Magic and the chaotic change he may bring

    I am taking #2 – I have had too many years of #1

    Yes – I know there is a better Option #3 and I will take that if/when it is on the table, but it may never come and I do not want to risk another minute of Jim.


  14. _ Robert _ Still R Fair enough


  15. Terrets _ Robert _

    “I can’t think of a single successful franchise that operates in this manner (the only other franchise close to this is the Raiders – and that’s not a complimentary comparison).”


    Why mention a comparison that runs contrary to your position???? Clearly you don’t understand the Raiders scenario at all if you only maintain some outdated and vague dislike their Operations.  The Raiders are an EXACT blueprint for how the Lakers should handle generational regime change in the professional sports business.  

    They’ve gone from an old outdated team to a playoff team in 3-4 year span.  The team had antiquated facilities, no FA Pull, Salary Cap hell, and a crappy roster when Al Davis died.  What Mark Davis has done has been extremely effective.  

    Welcome to 2017 is that your FIERO parked over there?????


  16. Though I agree that Jimmy must go, my longest term dissatisfaction has been with Mitch–even before the Pau Gasol “miracle”–even before the drafting and development of Andrew Bynum.  Both Mitch and Jimmy need to be replaced–not just Jimmy.
    That’s not the only step that needs to be taken, but it’s a good first step.


  17. Strategy and Execution: From 2011-13, the Lakers made a series of moves designed to get one more Rodeo for Kobe and Dr. Buss at almost any cost. 
    From 2013-16, the Lakers made a series of moves designed to keep the team competitive in Kobe’s dotage while leaving enough cap space to chase FAs. 
    In the 2016 off-season, the Lakers made two big moves designed to put the team in position for a lower playoff seed. 
    I have never been very critical of the first sequence of moves; the Nash deal was a huge gamble which backfired badly; the Howard deal made plenty of sense at the time. But they were part of a clear strategy. The worst moves during that phase were actually the little player personnel decisions: 


    Since then, I have been more critical, since I have not liked either the strategy although the execution has been better. When Kobe went down and Howard walked, I thought it was clear that the Lakers had to re-tool. Short of getting LeBron James and another star, which was never going to happen, I not only saw no path back to contention but a very hard route to even being a competitive team, but the FO never seemed to see it that way, and that was confirmed by the Mozgov/Deng contracts. Some of the execution–like Williams–has been OK, but I have never been big on the strategy. And that is just player moves. The Lakers made two questionable and one VERY questionable hires before hiring Walton. 

    Process: One problem I have with process arguments is that it’s a misnomer. We don’t actually know the process; all we can do is look at: 

    a) How the decision looked at the time.
    b) Whether it worked. 

    Big decisions that looked bad at the time include Kobe, Scott, Young, Deng and Mozgov. Big decisions that looked questionable at the time include Nash, Brown, D’Antoni, and Williams. Big decisions that looked good at the time include, well, Howard. The drafts are a separate issue and they have been pretty good, but I do not see them as enough to s

    Magic: I said a few days ago that one issue with him is that he likes to talk too much for this kind of gig, and we see that here. Want to talk about the team? Sit down with Hannah Storm.


  18. TempleOfJamesWorthy February 15, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Hindsight Bias revisited.

    Here is some of the brilliant vision, inspired strategy, and some of the brilliant moves executed by the front office of the current NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers during the same period when Mitch/Jim allegedly turned into idiots:
    Signed Byron Scott as head coach

    Waived Danny Green (now valuable 3-and-D specialist for San Antonio)

    Had NO draft picks in the 2010 NBA draft (probably from trying to keep LeBron happy)

    Traded for a washed-up Baron Davis (and ***lucked*** into a #1 overall pick from the Clippers)

    Drafted Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson #1 and #4 (solid, but missed out on Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard)

    Traded for Luke Walton and Jason Kapono (along with a 1st-round-pick swap) from Lakers

    Wasted the #4 overall pick in 2012 on Dion Waiters (instead of Damian Lillard or Andre Drummond)

    Drafted Jae Crowder one pick before Draymond Green

    Let Jae Crowder go in a trade for Tyler Zeller and Kelenna Azubike

    Sent down and recalled Kevin Jones to/from the D-league about a dozen times in 2013

    Fired Byron Scott after 3 years. Replaced him with Mike Brown.

    Wasted the #1 overall pick in 2013 on Anthony Bennett.

    Wasted other 2013 picks on Sergey Karasev, Carrick Felix, and Allan Crabbe (who was traded for future 2nd-round picks)

    Signed Andrew Bynum as a free agent (He played 25 games total)

    Traded Bynum (plus draft picks) for Luol Deng

    Signed Seth Curry to a 10-day contract (but did not renew it).

    Did the D-;league shuffle with Karasev and Felix

    Fired coach Mike Brown. Replace him with David Blatt.

    Drafted Joe Harris in 2014 2nd round (with Nikola Jokic, Normal Powell, and Dwight Clarkson still available)

    Signed washed-up Shawn Marion as a free agent

    Traded TWO 1st-round picks for Timofey Mozgov

    Signed human blocking sled Kendrick Perkins as a free agent..

    Drafted Tyus Jones over Larry Nance Jr.

    Traded Tyus Jones (an adequate backup point guard and the “another f***ing playmaker” the Cavs need this year) for 2nd round pick nobodies.

    Fired David Blatt. Replaced him with no-previous-head-coaching-experience Tyronn Lue.

    Let valuable roster players Timofey Mozgov and Matt Delavadova leave as free agents for no compensation.

    Yes, the Cavs management also got some things right…
    Signed LeBron James as a free agent

    Traded for Kevin Love (although it took nearly two seasons for that to be unambiguously a positive)

    Traded Dion Waiters + stuff for J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert

    Tyron Lue turned out to be a decent NBA coach

    Traded fluff for Channing Frye (whom the Magic were letting go in a salary dump)

    Manged to get Steph Curry hurt early in the playoffs, Draymond Green suspended for a Finals game, Andrew Bogut hurt during the Finals, and Harrison Barnes in a full-blown Robert-Horry-in-2003 self-confidence meltdown.

    And now Cleveland is the reigning world champion and likely Eastern Conference representative in the upcoming NBA Finals. Please note above how many of their moves involved the same names as Laker moves in recent years.

    Someone explain to me again how “vision” and “strategy” are the key to a successful NBA front office.


  19. TempleOfJamesWorthy

    One big problem (among many) with your post is that I don’t think anyone thinks that the Cleveland FO is especially good. Cleveland is where they are because they won the lotteries for Kyrie Irving (they should get some credit for taking him) and Andrew Wiggins, which enabled them to get Kevin Love. But the main reason, of course, is because they won the lottery for one of the five greatest players ever, a guy who thinks of Northern OH as home, and a guy who therefore made it a personal quest to come back to Cleveland at age 30 and lead the franchise to a title. 
    Luck certainly plays a key role in building a champion, and no FO nails every move. But if you are going to defend the Lakers’ FO, going through a laundry list of moves by the CLE FO is not the way to do it, since I think that virtually no one believes that Cleveland is on top because of having an unusually skilled FO.


  20. TempleOfJamesWorthy
    Another to add to your list: Cleveland decided to revolve their offense around old Shaq instead of prime Lebron.
    Both the Lakers and Cavs have certainly made questionable moves in the past, but there are some major differences.
    If DAR and Randle were as good as Irving and Wiggins…. and if Jimbo signed Kevin Durant as a free agent last summer, I don’t think Magic would have been brought in and Jimbo likely has a job next season. As you are aware, he didn’t sign Durant, he signed Deng.


  21. new rr

    First off, nice usage of the word DOTAGE bro.  I haven’t seen that word since I was studying for the SATs!!!!!  Its a goodie ; )

    Second, if every NBA Stud from L.A. wanted to return home on some personal quest to deliver a Championship to their hometown A LA LEBRON of AKRON, no one would have any issue with the Laker Roster because it would be an All Star team and it would have NOTHING to do with who is sitting in the FO.  Frankly, Cleveland was a total laughingstock and I recall them throwing lottery parties like the Clippers.  They are LOSERS with a wealthy banker owner who is a DETROIT guy who all got LUCKY enough to have the best player on the planet be born in their backyard.  

    I understand TOJW’s point to a degree—-FO maneuvers don’t always work out and it isn’t a perfect science.  I don’t think the comparison was LIKE FOR LIKE because of the Lebron Elephant in the equation that tips the scales for Cleveland on the court.  Our FO can’t play a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE with Lebron card unfortunately. 


    “Magic: I said a few days ago that one issue with him is that he likes to talk too much for this kind of gig, and we see that here. Want to talk about the team? Sit down with Hannah Storm.

    Jesus AMEN TO THAT!!!!!!!!!  That’s what I’ve been saying too!!!!!!!!!!!!  I don’t think ANY FO person does media tours!!!!  I figured when Magic said he wants to be the “MALE OPRAH” it related to how he wants to build his business empire NOT how he wants to be on EVERY TALK SHOW he can!!! 

    Its like a BLUR!!!!  He was on two outlets in one day it seems!!!!  I mean, this is the kind of run off at the mouth would be EXPECTED if it was merely part of his fairly recent addition to the ESPN Analyst job.   He would be a media personality again.   

    But CMON MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  How can the head of a FO be a Talking Head on ESPN broadcasts AT THE SAME TIME!?!?!?!?!!?!??!?!????

    If Magic was SERIOUS about putting 150% into the Lakers, he would formally announce he isn’t going to do any broadcast work and he would embed himself in the FO and go to work dammit!!!!   Instead, he’s doing a whirlwind tour of the GOSSIP circuit like he’s still on the OUTSIDE angling for a job.

    YOU GOT THE JOB MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The Interview is OVER!!!! Stop PROMOTING YOURSELF and your BS vision!!!!!

    Honestly, I don’t REALLY know how Business Savvy Magic really is if he can’t tell that he’s talking too much right now.  He sounds like a guy who is NEVER REALLY INTIMATELY ENGAGED with his businesses but is more of a hands off type of absentee CEO type.  This is NOT what we need with the Lakers—replacing one absentee executive with one who is not only absentee, but who BLABS constantly.

    If Magic wants to be a hands off CEO type like with his other businesses, he needs to hire COMPETENT people to work under him and let them do their jobs like he says he does with his businesses.  

    GM and FO positions are executive WORKING positions.  The people are not spokesmen or PR guys.  They are BASKETBALL people WORKING on Basketball Ops!!! You almost never hear a PEEP from the best FO guys.  There is no point in being public in this business.  It serves no purpose other than entertainment for the lowest level of fan.   

    Magic needs to stop TALKING and get to the DOING part.  PLENTY of work to do that SHOULD keep him out of the public eye UNLESS HE KEEPS PUTTING HIMSELF THERE!!!!  

    I love Magic but he isn’t a BEHIND THE SCENES type of guy.  He CRAVES attention too much to be Larry Bird or Danny Ainge or RC Buford or Mitch Kupchak or Jerry West etc.  What happens when Magic actually messes up and has to OWN a personnel mistake????!!!!!!  According to HIM, he is batting 1000 and everything he touches turns to gold.   Remember when Jordan’s ENTIRE REPUTATION as a FO guy was torched with the KWAME BROWN selection????  ONE pick and the greatest player of all time was known as a bumbling FO idiot.   

    Magic wants to be on ESPN and tell his little anecdotes and laugh with other NBA players about the good old days.  He is NOT plugged into the modern game and he is clearly NOT plugged into his new Job.

    We need to circle the wagons and go stealth while we rebuild not parade around the media pumping up the Magic brand at every turn.  Something tells me Magic will be in the office less than Jim ever was…………smh.

    This is even MORE reason to bring in competent outsiders to handle basketball OPs. JUST LIKE THE DODGERS DID.


  22. Clay Bertrand new rr One step at a time.  First, arrange for Jimmy to get “promoted,” and Mitch to become a consultant.  For now, let’s let Magic be sort of a ghost of Jerry Buss–a public figure, bigger than life.

    If we follow that model, we need a new Mitch, doing the heavy lifting in the background.  I have no idea who that might be.

    Magic is harmless as long as Jeanie is president.  At the very least, he will be a communication link between basketball operations and the business side–something that doesn’t exist right now.

    It’s too soon to consider more radical options, but a sellout–or at least a realignment of control–may well be in the foreseeable future.