The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a rebuild from top to bottom, with Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka coming in to run the team’s basketball operations after Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak were let go last season.
Whether it be boasting about their ability to bring in free agents or hyping up the young players they’ve drafted, Johnson and Pelinka have talked a big game since getting their new gigs. For his part, Johnson’s former teammate and legendary Lakers forward A.C. Green told Lakers Nation in an exclusive interview, that he thinks the two can live up the high expectations.
“I think it’s exciting just to have Magic and Rob there. They both know basketball, you can’t take that from them. Magic is a proven winner on the court and in the business world. I think in the sports world venture, he’s going to be successful. I’m excited,” Green said. “When he told me about it, I was elated he was going to say yes to Jeanie. I’m looking forward to trying to help him anyway myself.”
The fact Green is willing to lend his assistance to Johnson’s Lakers regime is at least in part the appeal of having a Hall-of-Famer like Johnson running the team’s basketball operations. His ability to generate buy-in from former teammates who can come and impart advice to younger players while helping establish the culture of what it means to be a Laker is an intangible benefit, but a benefit nonetheless.
Green has already spoken about how he’s worked with Larry Nance, Jr. and Julius Randle and is rooting for the two to succeed, and his advice on playing an up-tempo style with a passer like Johnson could be a valuable asset for the Lakers if they were to ask him to come and speak with their team.
More so than that, as the NBA’s resident iron man with 1,278 games played in his career, Green could impart advice on fitness and professionalism to the young core as well. It sounds like he’s willing to do either of those things or more for the Lakers now that his former teammate is running the show in the front office like he used to on the court.