During a conference call on Wednesday to promote his new ESPN film, "The Announcement," former Lakers great Magic Johnson addressed the need for Kobe Bryant to meet with Lakers management to discuss a series of unresolved issues. Johnson made it clear that Bryant must speak with Jim Buss, the Lakers' vice president of player personnel, rather than general manager Mitch Kupchak as the chain of command has shifted within the organization. Kupchak and Bryant have been bantering back and forth through the media regarding Pau Gasol's future as a Laker.
According to ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin, Johnson believes any decisions related to trades or free agency run through Buss rather than Kupchak. The goal of a conversation between Buss and Bryant would be to keep the star informed on key issues that surround the team with hopes of keeping in-house bantering out of the media. Buss' father, Dr. Jerry Buss, was known to have taken Bryant out for meals to keep him up to speed on any important decisions that would affect the team.
When questioned by the media about Johnson's recommendation for a meeting between Bryant and Buss, Bryant responded by saying, "perhaps." Amidst all of the trade rumors surrounding the Lakers, Bryant has supported Gasol and said that he would like him to remain on the team along with Andrew Bynum. Regardless of his supporting cast, Bryant has stated on multiple occasions that his lone focus remains on securing a sixth NBA championship, which would tie him with Michael Jordan.