Magic Johnson is now the president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, and the players have taken notice of the five-time NBA champion now shadowing the team at all times since taking the job.
Nick Young, following the loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, talked about the impact Johnson has had in the short time he’s been around the team on Spectrum SportsNet, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Nick Young said having Magic around "changed the atmosphere."
"Makes you stay on your toes, makes you stay focused."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) February 25, 2017
Johnson wasted no team in making his presence felt within the Lakers organization this week. Shortly after taking the job, Magic made two trades and flew with the team to Oklahoma city.
Along with having dinner with the coaching staff prior to the team’s matchup with the Thunder , Johnson got on the floor during practice to give rookie Brandon Ingram some tips. It was initially uncertain what Johnson’s level of involvement would be in day-to-day duties, but it appears he’s going to be very hands on while trying right the ship in Los Angeles.
Magic will now travel with the team back to Los Angeles to prepare to host the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. It will be the first game the team plays at the Staples Center since the new regime was put in place with Johnson leading the way.
The Lakers will attempt to bounce back from the team’s 40th loss of the season against one of the elite teams in the Western Conference. San Antonio, however, will continue to try to improve their position in the West with the playoffs only a few weeks away.