In a report by ESPN’s Ramona Shleburne, the Lakers will not be hiring a replacement for Magic Johnson as President of Basketball Operations.
The Lakers have decided they will not hire a president of basketball operations to replace Magic Johnson, a team source told ESPN.
General manager Rob Pelinka will continue in his role, reporting directly to ownership, the source said. Pelinka had previously reported to Johnson.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 17, 2019
In February of 2017, the infamous “Big Three” of the Lakers power core came together — Jeanie, Magic, and GM Rob Pelinka — following the “dismissal” of several previous long-time executives, including Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss.
The idea was to usher in a new direction for the franchise after years of losing. But just a year and a half into their reign, it became clear something had to give. The failure was a big part of Magic’s departure, but it was ultimately behind-the-scenes trash talk between Jeanie and Rob that pushed Magic away.
This was months ago now, and the fact that the team is choosing to have Pelinka report straight to Jeanie exposes the trust and relationship the two must have. Not having a President in the weeks leading up to free agency is probably not the best way to do it, but these types of strategies are becoming the norm for the 16x NBA Champs.