NBA front-office executives and owners are often a reserved bunch; and when they aren’t, we sometimes wish they were. Tuesday, the Lakers replaced Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, former Lakers player, coach, and minority owner, longtime tweeter, first-time (player personnel shot) caller. Now, via his Twitter account, we have access to many of the new executive vice president’s thoughts since February 2011.
Earvin Johnson is a basketball mind in the sense that basketball is on his mind. Over the years, his tweets have been distant observations — mostly obvious, often with exclamation points. But his feed gives us a window into how he sees the game, and more importantly, how he plans to fix the Lakers. Trust the thought process.
Step 1: Tank/Get Excited
Laker Nation, I can see how you might’ve been offended by this. But here’s a little basketball secret about how the draft works: The teams with worse records end up with higher draft picks.
(Laker Nation, getting a lower pick is worse than getting a higher pick.)
Step 2: Mindf*** Your Way to Acquiring a Big*
*Not that big.
Adding to the frontcourt has been on Magic’s mind since 2015, so plan on that being his first addition to Los Angeles’s young core.
If only there was a big-heavy Eastern Conference team looking to pawn off one of its 53 Large Adult Sons; if only Magic liked the one big that team is set on trading away …
If the play for a big doesn’t work, go with the foolproof plan of acquiring stars past their prime.
In contrast with that year’s Nets, the 2013 Miami Heat roster included LeBron James, (younger) Dwyane Wade, (healthy) Chris Bosh, and (active) Ray Allen. They would later be defeated in the Finals by the Spurs.
Step 3: Never Doubt the Hire Until It’s Bad
(Mike Brown did get the Lakers to the playoffs.)
I think the takeaway here is hire someone great and smart, not repugnant and dumb.
Here Magic lets us know that he knows that even though someone is great and smart, not repugnant and dumb, that doesn’t make him a suitable coach.
Step 4: Be Persistent
But compassionate …
Step 5: Be Like the Orlando Magic
Step 6: Comment About Not Commenting About Nuts
The clearest way to say nothing is to say something about how you’re saying nothing. But if Magic was saying something between the lines of saying nothing by saying something, it’s that hitting people in their junk is OK.
Step 7: Know How to Play Free Agency
In Boston, Troy Murphy’s third team in one season, he’d go on to average less than three points and barely two rebounds per game. But I think I get what Magic actually means here: Murphy is Irish. The Celtics play in Boston. Boston is Irish. “Natural fit” — gotcha.
The key for this signing was the Pacers (a small-market team) being a small-market team and still signing David West, despite being a small-market team.
Step 8: Become a Sea Captain, Sail to the Lone Isle de Waiters, Buy Oceanfront Property
Forget Showtime, the history with the Lakers, his minority ownership, his closeness with Jeanie Buss — this tweet is why Magic was hired. He knew.
Step 9: Hire Private Investigators
Things you can do from an office: Reap the benefits of office-snack culture, make free-agency calls, stay hydrated with a community water cooler, hold meetings with the coaching staff and front-office personnel, send emails with the subject line “checking in,” “touching base,” or “following up,” make team decisions informed by staff.
Things you can’t do from an office: Find. Out. What. The. Issues. Are.
Step 10: To Win a Championship, Get Into the Finals
Absolutely, 100 percent correct. You can’t be a championship team without beating a team in the Finals, and you can’t beat a team in the Finals without being in the Finals.
Wishing you the best of luck and the least of tweets, Magic.