Rich Arden / ESPN Images(LOS ANGELES) — Hall of Famer Magic Johnson is now the Lakers’ president of basketball operations after general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss were fired.
As the Lakers work to rebuild from a 19-39 record, the third-worst in the NBA, president and co-owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement she believed Tuesday’s actions “will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect.”
“Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me,” Buss, Jim Buss’ sister, said. “Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”
Johnson said it is “a dream come true to return to the Lakers as president of basketball operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family.”
“Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization,” he said in a statement. “I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”
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