The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t had a good stretch. Record-setting losing seasons, the firing of former Lakers star Byron Scott as head coach, and the retirement of Kobe Bryant aren’t the end of it, either. Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, whose father Mychal won rings as a Lakers forward back in the day, recently said he thought the present-day Warriors could handle the legendary 1980s “Showtime” Lakers. He said it (sort of) in jest, but deep down? That means Klay himself would have to guard one Earvin “Magic” Johnson — one of the NBA’s transformative players and longtime symbol of Lakers’ greatness, flash, style and elan.
Magic as a Lakers symbol has long been more than symbolic, too. It’s been official: Johnson has held the honorary title of Vice-President with the team for ages. As a broadcaster, Johnson tends to speak of the Lakers as “we.” But no more. This is the year the Lakers lost Kobe and Magic, as it turns out. Magic wanted the freedom to speak (and tweet) his mind without having to be vetted as a league official, the way a Lakers VP must be. So the Lakers have taken away Johnson’s VP title, apparently at Johnson’s request. No one, of course, is taking away his other five Lakers titles. Lakers said this:
“Earvin will always be a revered and beloved member of the Lakers family, but he does not have a position or role with the organization at this time. He is not an advisor or a consultant, and his opinions, comments and social media posts are solely his, and do not represent or reflect those of Lakers ownership or management. Hopefully this will eliminate any confusion over this issue in the future.”