Some once said, “The foundation for every storied franchise is built by its accomplishments that are based on the culture of its history.” For the Los Angeles Lakers, no other statement can be more true. Historically, the franchise has maintained the ability to manifest landmark acquisitions in order to continue its winning ways.
Former Laker owner Jack Kent Cooke was able to deliver Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. As general manager, Jerry West landed Shaquille O’Neal.
In keeping up with Laker tradition, as acting President of Basketball Operations, Earvin Magic Johnson has landed the biggest free agent acquisition of the year as he has delivered LeBron James to Los Angeles in what has produced an enormous shift in the NBA landscape of seismic proportions. Potentially.
In a quintessential Johnson move, this acquisition is all about him but not about him at the same time. As when he played, the ball had to be in his hands in order to make sure that everyone else got their touches.
It’s the dichotomy in which he has existed in for a very long time that has brought him success. He has the ego to bring a plan together but the wherewithal to step back and allow it to grow. He can set you up for some easy scoring opportunities but he can also just give you the ball and let you assert your own creativity.
According to the General Manager, Rob Pelinka, the plan is to utilize the young talent which he and Johnson had acquired in the previous draft along with some recent key veteran free agents that have playoff experience. This will create a different type of support structure for James with a focus on defense, toughness and playmaking.
This is a very different approach to what the Cleveland franchise and what most analyst believe should be the model with regards to building around James. Youth brings energy, experience mentors youth and playmakers make it easier to create scoring opportunities by virtue of wide open shots.
By providing his profound knowledge and support from behind the scenes, the Lakers should be on the fast track back to success if his affect on the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Sparks is any indication.
Do you believe in Magic now? It sure seems like the right people do.