Those who stuck with the Los Angeles Lakers through their down years were enjoying one of the most entertaining seasons in recent memory as the team was dominating the 2019-20 NBA season.
The Lakers gelled together much quicker than expected and Anthony Davis proved to be the piece to push the the team to the top. However, Los Angeles’ fortunes turned for the better when LeBron James decided to sign with the team almost two years ago.
The choice to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Lakers was shocking, but James has since endeared himself to the Laker faithful and is well on his way to returning the franchise back to glory.
In an appearance on the “Daddy Issues” podcast with Joe Buck and Oliver Hudson, Jeanie Buss praised Magic Johnson for his role in the Lakers signing James:
“To lose my dad, and to lose Kobe and to have Magic leave his job as president — even though Magic and I still see each other and communicate — working with Magic every day was really such a pleasure for me. I really enjoyed it and I was sad it wasn’t something that was making him happy, having to work every day in a job that is a tough job.
“And David Stern. These were all people that had such influence on me and that I could always count on to be there when I needed help, and I’ve lost a lot, and it’s hard. But Magic got us to where we are today. He got LeBron James to say the Lakers were back, the in the organization that we were going in the right direction, and I cannot thank Magic more for coming and helping me at the most difficult time in my professional, business side of the operation.”
Buss brought in Johnson to be the franchise’s president of basketball operations after she ousted her brother Jim Buss, a clear shift in the organization’s culture and thinking. However, near the conclusion of the 2018-2019 NBA season, Johnson made a drastic move resigning from his position, leaving Buss and Rob Pelinka to steer the franchise.
Although Johnson’s tenure in a front office role was met with criticism, he did help in bringing James over and that singular move may have saved the team. With James on board, the Lakers look like they are back which is a treat for the NBA and basketball as a whole.
LeBron singularly focused
The Lakers made their scheduled arrival at Walt Disney World on the last possible day NBA teams traveled to Orlando, Florida. After completing the quarantine period, players gathered over the weekend for their first team practices since March.
“I’m here for one goal and one goal only. That’s to win a championship,” James said during his first interview from Orlando. “And to get better every single day. That’s my mindset. My mindset is to do that on the floor.
“My mindset off the floor is to continue to give education, continue to give guidance to my communities and communities around the world, in the inner city about how important our voice is, how important we are, and creating change. That is my main focus.”
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