- Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images
- Magic Johnson abruptly and shockingly resigned as the Los Angeles Lakers president on Tuesday.
- On Wednesday, ESPN’s NBA insiders Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe skewered the Lakers management for trying to run a “family organization” and hiring only people with ties to the organization.
- Lowe had a great reaction when he learned that Kobe Bryant is a betting favorite to replace Johnson.
Magic Johnson resigned as the president of the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday in a shocking, impromptu press conference.
The fallout is ugly for the Lakers, who already looked discombobulated and poorly organized in a lost season before their star president resigned through the media, without telling anybody on the team.
On “Get Up” on Wednesday, ESPN’s NBA insider Brian Windhorst skewered Johnson and the Lakers, saying Johnson was “ill-equipped” to handle what lies ahead to turn the team around.
Windhorst said that while the Lakers owner Jeanie Buss is well-liked and respected around the NBA, she has presided over the worst run in team history.
“The Lakers run as a family organization,” Windhorst said. “That is a nice thing to say. In 2019, you cannot run a basketball operations department as a family.
“When Jeanie Buss took over from her brother, she hired one of her father’s best friends in Magic Johnson. She hired Kobe Bryant’s agent in Rob Pelinka. And Luke Walton was hired as the coach, who was basically the surrogate son of Phil Jackson, who was her fiancé and boyfriend for 15 years. That is no way to run an organization.
“And while everybody respects Jeanie, everybody genuinely likes Jeanie, she has presided over the six worst years in the history of the franchise. By any measure, it has been a complete and utter disaster filled with poor management decision after poor management decision.”
Zach Lowe, another ESPN NBA insider, echoed Windhorst’s sentiment, calling Johnson’s resignation a “perfect” end to the Lakers’ season.
He said that “when they talk about a methodical approach” to hiring a new president, “what they need to do is go out outside the Lakers family.”
“It can’t be a Lakers legend. It can’t be Kobe Bryant’s agent,” he said. “It needs to be someone who comes in and completely reshapes the culture of how they communicate and how they make decisions, because it is totally broken, and last night is a perfect end to that.”
Lowe described a “toxic” atmosphere around the Lakers where nobody trusted each other within the organization.
- Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images
“You have to go outside of this Laker-legend bubble where you think you can solve every problem by looking back into the past glorious years of the Lakers,” Lowe said. “You can’t operate that way.”
Lowe added: “You are the Lakers. You have infinite resources … Call anybody.“
To top it off, Lowe had a perfect reaction when he learned that Bryant was one of the betting favorites to become the next Lakers president:
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