Magic Johnson was just recently named a special advisor to Lakers President Jeanie Buss. What his role will exactly be is unknown, but ultimately Magic wants to be calling the shots. On First Take the other day Johnson said, "First call I make if I'm in charge? Kobe Bryant." Many Lakers fans are likely rejoicing upon hearing this. The idea of former greats Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant bringing the Los Angeles Lakers back to prominence seems promising on the surface. Don't be fooled.
Magic. Kobe. How many NBA General Managers, or General Managers in any sport for that matter, do you know of that go by one name? Theo.....maybe. Other than that, there aren't any. Being a General Manager and running an NBA franchise requires a lot of work, a brutal travel schedule, and constant criticism. Magic and Kobe have been pampered for much of their careers and so returning to such a demanding position might not be ideal for them or the fans, especially if they truly want the Lakers to be revived. Red-eyes from Europe, constant film study, non-stop number-crunching, those don't seem like the types of things all-time greats partake in. Instead they prefer steak dinners, and trips to Cabo, and being pampered. That is not the life on a General Manager.
The de facto GM of the Patriots who built the dynasty that is currently was Scott Pioli. The Spurs GM is R.C. Buford, the Yankees is Brian Cashman. This is not to say that a Magic Johnson-Kobe Bryant partnership would not work in Los Angeles, it just seems unlikely. Phil Jackson as a GM was a bust, as was Isiah Thomas and Kevin McHale, and Wes Unseld, and Elgin Baylor. Shall I continue? Even Michael Jordan owning the Charlotte Hornets has illustrated how even the most talented and will-driven player can be incompetent when it comes to constructing a team. Playing the sport at a high-level is one thing; having the oversight to build a team is entirely another.