It has been more than a week since former Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson suddenly resigned.
Since then, there have been no reports regarding Johnson’s replacement as general manager Rob Pelinka is currently conducting interviews for former head coach Luke Walton’s replacement.
With rival teams reportedly in ‘shock and relief’ over the Lakers not pursuing a name like Golden State Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers yet, there has naturally been speculation surrounding Los Angeles Clippers executive board member Jerry West.
As the Clippers are tied at 1-1 against the Warriors in the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs, West reacted to Johnson’s resignation, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic:
“Well, I think for some reason, people think that I don’t like the Lakers; that is not even close to true,” West began in our chat. “My life has been the Lakers. It’s an iconic brand, but there are things that happen – things that happen where everyone is trying to look for a reason that they happened. And if someone wants to walk away – and Earvin did it – there had to be reasons. But he did it. And honestly, he looked like he was a happy camper.
For now, it appears Pelinka’s role has only increased. In an ideal situation, the Lakers should hire Johnson’s replacement first before hiring their head coach.
As a player and general manager, West had an extremely successful career with the Lakers. At 80-years-old, West is focused on helping the Clippers right now, but it would benefit the Lakers greatly if they reached out with a potential advisory role.