Magic Johnson returns to the Lakers as an advisor to Jeanie Buss

Magic Johnson is returning to the Lakers to assist ownership in all areas of basketball and business as an advisor, the team announced on Thursday in an official release.

Johnson’s duties will include, but not be limited to, advising ownership on all business and basketball matters, collaborating with coaches, evaluating and mentoring players, assessing future franchise needs, and helping ownership to determine the best path for growth and success. Johnson will spend time at Lakers offices in El Segundo and will report directly to Jeanie Buss.

Johnson had dinner with Jeanie Buss and attended a Lakers game with her two weeks ago.

“Fans have to be encouraged, but Lakers fans are tired of losing,” he told Southern California News Group at the time. “We’re trying as Lakers fans to still be patient. But it’s hard. We have to wait some more?”

Fans of the Lakers will immediately notice the interesting things about this announcement, and what it might mean for the team’s front office in the immediate future.

Jeanie Buss has previously managed only the business side of things, leaving the basketball operations to her brother, Jim Buss, who took over the role when their father passed away in 2013. Johnson has been publicly critical of Jim’s performance more than once, and in April of 2014, Jim said he’d step down if the Lakers weren’t back contending for titles in three years. That self-imposed timeline — one Jeanie said she’d hold him to — ends at the conclusion of the current season.

The Lakers are 17-34, just two games ahead of the Suns for the worst record in the West.