Magic Johnson is willing to “do whatever it takes” to recruit Kevin Durant to the Los Angeles Lakers during the offseason.
Earlier on Tuesday, Johnson appeared on ESPN First Take and spoke profoundly about the Lakers’ disastrous season (11-43) and the host of problems facing the Purple & Gold.
When asked what role he was willing to play to recruit Durant and other superstars, Magic said: “First of all, I would recruit him hard. I think he’s the one guy who can actually turn it around. He can be that one piece that others players would gravitate towards. Other players would love to play with Kevin Durant,” the Laker legend told ESPN First Take (Watch Full Interview Above).
Magic added that Durant and L.A. would be a perfect match. “Kevin Durant has that type of personality that fits Hollywood. I think it would go well for him as well as the Lakers. So, I would play whatever role Jeanie Buss (Lakers principal owner) wants me to play.
“I would get on the phone; I would host him if he (Durant) came to L.A. I’ll show him different neighbourhoods and things of that nature,” said Magic, who won five championships and three Finals MVPs with Lakers during the Showtime Era of the 1980s.
The Lakers have struck out in free agency over the last few summers. They failed in their pursuit to sign Carmelo Anthony and LaMarcus Aldridge. According to Magic, superstar players haven’t prioritized Lakers because of reasons beyond basketball.
Jim Buss needs to step aside…
Magic Johnson opined that co-owner and VP of Basketball Operations, Jim Buss, must step aside and allow a more basketball-oriented mind to make the big decisions for Laker Nation. “First and foremost, free agents have to believe that Lakers are headed in the right direction. If Jeanie made a move (to fire her brother Jim Buss from the post of VP), I think free agents would be willing to see that Lakers are really about winning and want to turn this thing around.
“Jim (Buss) needs to step aside and just be an owner. His father (Jerry Buss) allowed Jerry West to make all basketball decisions. It doesn’t have to be Phil Jackson. It can be someone else,” added the legendary point guard.
Magic also said he “would be fine” if Jeanie brought back her fiancee Phil Jackson to the Lakers. “There is a trust in L.A. that Jackson knows how to win championships.” Jackson is currently serving as the President of the New York Knicks.
Will Magic Johnson go out of his way to recruit Kevin Durant? This offseason could prove to be a turning point in Lakers history.