Lakers name Magic Johnson president of basketball operations, fire GM Mitch Kupchak

The Los Angeles Lakers announced a major restructuring of their front office on Tuesday, and Magic Johnson will be at the helm of the franchise’s basketball operations moving forward.

According to the Lakers, Johnson has officially been named president of basketball operations, general manager Mitch Kupchak has been fired, and Jim Buss, son of the late former Lakers owner Jerry Buss and sibling of Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, will no longer be executive vice president of basketball operations.

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Los Angeles Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss announced today that the team has named Earvin “Magic” Johnson as President of Basketball Operations. In addition, General Manager Mitch Kupchak has been relieved of his duties, effective immediately. Furthermore, Jim Buss will no longer hold his role as Lakers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

“Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Jeanie Buss said. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.

“It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family,” said Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”

The Lakers announced Johnson’s hiring as an adviser to ownership on Feb. 2. Almost immediately, he began agitating for a larger role with the organization, telling reporters he wanted a “larger role” in the front office.

Less than a month later, Magic’s wish came true.