‘Magic Era’ begins for the Lakers

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Magic Johnson has spoken to the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time since taking over as president of basketball operations.

The Hall of Famer’s words were brief before Wednesday’s practice, with some of the young players meeting the former Lakers great for the first time. Coach Luke Walton says Johnson let the players know they have an open door to talk to him.

The team gathered for the first time since the All-Star break ended, still reeling from the upheaval created by co-owner Jeanie Buss’ firing of longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak and dismissal of her brother Jim as executive vice president of basketball operations a day earlier.

Perhaps more important to the players was the absence of leading scorer Lou Williams, who is headed to the Houston Rockets. Rookie Brandon Ingram says the move is “a real heartbreaker.”