The new regime of the Los Angeles Lakers front office is well underway with Magic Johnson trying to right the ship as president of basketball operations. Although Magic has no experience in his new position with the Lakers, Pat Riley, former head coach of the Lakers and current team president for the Miami Heat, also expressed the same sentiment about his former superstar.
Riley said the following about Johnson’s chances of being successful as the leader in the front office in Los Angeles, via Tim Reynolds of The Boston Globe:
“There couldn’t be a better person and worker, I think, to be the sort of face and also to spearhead,” Riley said. “He’ll get the job done out there.”
Johnson and Riley formed a lethal duo during the Showtime era of the Lakers. The highly successful combination of well-respected coach and superstar player went on to win four NBA titles in Los Angeles.
Riley then coached the New York Knicks and Heat before devoting all his time to being team president in Miami. The Hall of Famer had similar success running the Heat franchise. He led the team to a championship in 2006 as head coach and president before putting together a superstar trio of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade resulting in back-to-back titles and four straight NBA Finals appearances.
Obviously, Riley knows what it takes to be successful running an NBA franchise and also knows Magic as well as anyone. Hopefully, for the sake of the future of the Lakers franchise, the 71-year-old executive is right in his assessment of Johnson’s ability to turn the team back into a winner.