With the NBA trade deadline now in the rearview, the Los Angeles Lakers will get back to work on the basketball court in preparation for Friday’s game on the road against Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder. Heading toward his first game as president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson has taken to the floor on Thursday to help mentor rookie Brandon Ingram.
Johnson can be seen in the Instagram video below showing Ingram some tips on the court, via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
As Johnson said after taking the expanded role with the Lakers, he’s all in and will be spending all his time helping turn this franchise back into a winner in the Western Conference.
Obviously, with Magic wearing workout clothes and already taking to the road with the Lakers, the five-time NBA champion is going with a hands-on approach. Players like Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and especially D’Angelo Russell can only benefit from having a legend of his stature providing the knowledge on a daily basis while also having an open-door policy for the players and coaches.
Johnson has also let head coach Luke Walton know he’s open “any ideas” as they move forward under the new regime, via Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet:
Magic Johnson wants an open forum with players and coaches, Luke Walton said. "Early on, he told the group he wants any ideas on the table."
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) February 23, 2017
Magic already showing the initiative to get involved immediately is a good sign for the Lakers. There’s no telling how the Johnson experiment will pan out, but helping Walton and company while also running the front office in an attempt to right ship can’t hurt.
Following the team’s matchup with the Thunder on Friday, the Lakers will play their first game with Magic in his new position at home at the Staples Center on Sunday. The Lakers will host the San Antonio Spurs and there is certainly bound to be a different feel at the team’s home court with the front office and trades made this week.