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Magic Johnson Takes Over As President Of Basketball Operations For The Lakers

Magic. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Lakers legend Magic Johnson has been installed as the team's president of basketball operations, according to a release on the team's website.

"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect," Jeanie Buss, part-owner and president of the Lakers, said in the statement. "Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me."

Also announced was the firing of Mitch Kupchak, who has left his post as general manager. Kupchak had been involved with the team's front office since the mid-eighties, when he took on the role as assistant general manager (he served under Jerry West). Jim Buss, Jeanie's brother, has also been relieved of his duties as vice president of basketball operations. "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," Jeanie said in the release.

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A lot of front office titles are vague, to say the least. What, exactly, does it mean for Johnson to be "president of basketball operations"? On ESPN's Outside The Lines, Tom Penn, an NBA analyst (and co-owner of the upcoming LAFC soccer club, of which Johnson is an investor), said that Johnson's position has some real implications, as he is more or less the second-in-command.

"I think he clearly has the say now. This is Jeanie Buss saying 'you're in charge'," said Penn, adding that "Magic has the pulpit and the authority" and that "it's now Jeanie and Magic running the show."

Johnson's also an investor with the Dodgers. Taken altogether (basketball, baseball, soccer), we're not sure how he's able to handle the work load. But hey, it's Magic, and he's got the full backing of L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer: