Former Lakers player, minority owner, and vice president Magic Johnson has rejoined the franchise, the team announced today in a press release. According to the Lakers’ announcement, Johnson will serve as an advisor to team ownership consulting with the Buss family on basketball operations and business matters.
“Everyone knows my love for the Lakers,” Johnson said in a statement. “Over the years, I have considered other management opportunities, however my devotion to the game and Los Angeles make the Lakers my first and only choice. I will do everything in my power to help return the Lakers to their rightful place among the elite teams of the NBA.”
According to the team, Johnson will report directly to Lakers governor Jeanie Buss. His duties will include, but won’t be limited to, the following: “Advising ownership on all business and basketball matters, collaborating with coaches, evaluating and mentoring players, assessing future franchise needs, and helping ownership to determine the best path for growth and success.”
Johnson’s role with the Lakers will be interesting to monitor, since he has been critical in recent years of some of the team’s basketball operations decisions, led by Jim Buss. As Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet notes again today (via Twitter), Buss said in April 2014 that he’d step down from his position with the franchise if the Lakers weren’t contending for a title within “three or four” years.
Johnson was part of the Lakers’ ownership group for more than 15 years and served as a vice president for the team before selling his share of the organization in 2010.