Sports

Lakers Fans Can Thank the Knicks for New President of Basketball Ops Magic Johnson

When Magic Johnson heard that Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson were splitting, he called the Lakers owner. He was hired almost a month later.
February 21, 2017, 9:43pm
Photo by Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are the latest example of the Butterfly Effect, although think of it less as the scientific theory and more like the Ashton Kutcher vehicle of the same name (read: it's a mess). According to Jeanie Buss herself, Magic Johnson's emergence as president of basketball operations with the Lakers is thanks to her breakup with New York Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson.

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You might recall that Jackson announced he and Buss were parting ways amicably, due to the stress of living on opposite coasts and steering once-proud organizations further along in their respective journeys of being described as once-proud. When Magic heard the news, apparently, he reached out to Buss. Basically, he slid into her DMs.

Jeanie said on Spectrum that all of this evolved from Magic reaching out after her breakup with Phil Jackson.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) February 21, 2017

Jeanie Buss says, on Spectrum, Magic Johnson called her to see how she was doing after her breakup with Phil. That's why they had dinner.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) February 21, 2017

Once at dinner, they talked more about Magic returning to the organization and this evolved from there.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) February 21, 2017

Jackson tweeted the news of the split two days after Christmas. Just over a month later, on February 2, Magic was hired as a special advisor. Today he is a president in search of a general manager, two days before the trade deadline. How's that going, anyway?

Magic, on GM search: "I'm looking for someone whose thinking is outside the box…& also have relationships already" w/teams & players.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) February 21, 2017

Outside the box, but also very firmly inside the box. Sounds good.

Nothing concrete, but I'm hearing strong indications Rob Pelinka, Kobe's longtime agent, will be the Lakers' next general manager.
— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) February 21, 2017

And any deals?

Johnson says most calls have been 4 Lou Williams, but "I'm not gonna be a guy who's going to tell the press the moves that we'll be making."
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) February 21, 2017

Already acting presidential.