Los Angeles Lakers

5 reasons LeBron owns Lakers with Magic Johnson gone

The resignation of Magic Johnson puts LeBron James on an even greater pedestal than before. Can he be the man to save the entire Lakers organization?

While Los Angeles Lakers fans should privately be happy that Magic Johnson has stepped away from a job he had little time to actually do, Magic’s sudden and unexpected resignation leaves Lakers co-owner/CEO Jeanie Buss in a problematic position with a vital free agent period only eight weeks away.

If the Lakers are going to break out of the worst run in franchise history (six straight seasons with at least 45 losses and no playoff appearances), Buss will need to find a savior in a hurry. Whether she likes it or not, she already has one.

LeBron James is officially the most powerful person in the organization. And that suits no one’s ego more than James, who came to Los Angeles with the goal to improve his brand. James has a chance to not only elevate his standing in the entertainment world, he can also be known forever as the man who saved the Lakers.

With that in mind, here are the five steps LeBron is likely to make.

5. Hire David Griffin

LeBron is a Kingslayer; No matter your rank, if he doesn’t like working with you then your days are numbered.

But as much as that’s a part of his legacy, David Griffin is a rare exception. The architect of the Cavaliers first-ever NBA Championship was run out of town not by LeBron but by owner Dan Gilbert. In a bizarre twist, LeBron was genuinely irked that someone was let go from a high-ranking position and it’s one of the sores-that-never-healed that led him to leave Cleveland last season.

All of this is to say a reunion seems ripe.

LeBron trusts Griffin which, again, is rare. He’s someone not meant to take the fall for when things go wrong but to play an instrumental role in LeBron’s long con of being the guy who saves basketball in Los Angeles. Right now the Lakers are a tire fire and UCLA can’t beg hard enough to get someone to coach its team. Things are dire in L.A., and the narrative of LeBron reinvigorating the basketball scene by returning the great Lakers to prominence is what this whole journey out West has been all about.

He’ll get the full credit, but if there’s one thing LeBron has learned in his travels it’s that he needs a ghostwriter to pen his story. Pat Riley was too mythical a figure in Miami to be overshadowed and the Cleveland story was spoiled by how things collapsed after winning a title. Bringing Griffin into the fold in Los Angeles is the endgame LeBron has been striving for his entire career.

The Lakers will be saved, a smart basketball person will be there to make sure the right pieces are in place, and LeBron will return as King.

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