Earvin "Magic" Johnson has already been a baller with the Los Angeles Lakers, and now, he's shared his intentions of becoming a shot caller for the purple and gold mere days after joining the team in a special advisory role that reports only to Lakers president Jeanie Buss.
"Working to call the shots, because it only works that way," Johnson told USA TODAY Sports when describing his new, somewhat ambiguous role with the Lakers. "Right now I'm advising. I get that. But at the end of the day, then we all got to come together and somebody's got to say, 'I'm making the final call,' all right? And who's that going to be?"
Johnson's return to the franchise always seemed suspicious considering his previous public criticism of Lakers vice-president of basketball operations Jim Buss. However, Johnson initially went on a bit of media tour to calm the nerves and speak about how he would be available to work with all components of the basketball and business operations, rather than necessarily usurp their powers or lord over them. He presented himself as an extra resource to be called upon but only if needed.
These latest comments, however, suggest that Johnson's return is likely a power play designed to transition the final say on basketball decisions away from Jim Buss, who officially took over having the final say on these matters from the late Dr. Jerry Buss after his death. Jeanie Buss has always been more involved on the business side of the Lakers and has kept her hands clean of the basketball side, save for being involved in select free agent meetings.
Johnson, however, clearly has ambitions to get elbow deep in the Lakers' decision making process with an eye to disrupt the current order that features Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak doing, well, his job and Jim Buss giving his final approval on decisions.
Johnson is clearly not in position to become an NBA general manager, so one would imagine his presence is not a threat to Kupchak in the least. However, the face of the Lakers from the 1980's to the early 1990's seemingly wants to have the final say on basketball decisions.
Seeing as Jim Buss currently holds the role Johnson is describing, one cannot help but point out the obvious: Johnson wants to replace Jim Buss.