Magic Johnson hasn’t wasted any time getting to work in his new role with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before the Lakers went head-to-head with the rival Boston Celtics on Friday night, Johnson took to Twitter to say he’s already reached out to point guard, D’Angelo Russell.
According to Johnson’s tweet, the two spoke before the game and the five-time NBA champion is looking forward to working with the second-year pro out of Ohio State:
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 4, 2017
During Johnson’s interview on Spectrum SportsNet on Thursday, the 57-year-old talked about Russell and how he wants the up-and-comer to play more of a leadership role on the squad. Magic has said on more than one occasion that the Lakers currently lack a leader like they had with Kobe Bryant over the last two decades, and maybe Russell could eventually fill the void.
It appears that Johnson believes Russell could turn into that much-needed leader on the floor and in the locker room. Johnson, who is arguably the greatest point guard in NBA history, may be looking at the soon-to-be 21-year-old as the obvious choice simply due to the responsibilities of being a floor general.
Perhaps the biggest criticism of Russell in his first two seasons has been his lack maturity. There’s no question Russell is as talented as they come. The young point guard has all the tools to succeed, but maturity issues have some wondering whether he’ll ever reach his true potential and become the star the Lakers hoped he would be when they selected him second overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Magic’s guidance should help steer Russell in the right direction as he continues to develop and hopefully live up to the expectations of the Lakers brass.