Lakers legend Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson made his living with a flare for the dramatic. One of the flashiest players in NBA history, Magic is making a major guarantee over the next two summers: if the Lakers do not improve, he’ll step down.
The Lakers, coming off a 35-47 season, and 11th place finish in the Western Conference, have salary cap space to reasonably sign two max-contract players over the next two summers. With talent in place in Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball, the roster is young, but warrants attention from any player hitting free agency.
Los Angeles is a premiere destination, and multiple superstar, max-contract players have eluded to their desire to play on the West Coast. San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard publicly announced his desire to leave Texas, preferably to be sent to Los Angeles.
Oklahoma City swingman Paul George, who played at Knight High School in Palmdale, California, hinted that he wanted to play in Los Angeles even before being dealt to Oklahoma City from Indiana last year.
One Los Angeles resident paid for over 40 billboards in an attempt to draw the 28-year-old superstar:
The crown jewel of the debate is, of course, LeBron James. Though no one really knows what the veteran all-timer will do, inferences are so fun to make. Especially when his oldest son, Bronny, has committed to play his high school basketball at Sierra Canyon in Los Angeles. Lebron also owns a home in L.A.
The chips are on the table for Magic Johnson. Sunshine, Hollywood and the purple and gold Laker brand is calling for someone to take the mantle left behind by the last true Lakers superstar, Kobe Bryant.
For Magic, he’s as cool as ever boasting at a press conference, “You know how many finals I’ve been in? So, you think I’m worried about this? I played against Larry Bird in the finals. I mean, come on man.”
Los Angeles hasn’t posted a winning record since the 2012-13 season.