NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson has been named the Los Angeles Lakers’ President of Basketball Operations in an overhaul of the struggling team’s front office. The team announced on Tuesday that general manager Mitch Kupchak has been let go and that Jim Buss will no longer serve as executive VP of basketball operations.
Buss is the son of the deceased Lakers owner Jerry Buss and brother of Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss. The team is currently 19-39 and in 14th place (of the 15 teams) in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Johnson was hired as an adviser to the Lakers earlier this month and subsequently said he would like to “call the shots” for the team. The announcement did not specify whether Johnson will handle day-to-day operations. “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,” Johnson said in a statement. “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.”
Johnson played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons, leading the team to five NBA championships in what was widely known as the team’s “Showtime” era. He won three Most Valuable Player awards Jeanie Buss, the Lakers’ president, governor, and co-owner said that the team is actively searching for a new general manager.
FLINT, MI — Earvin “Magic” Johnson helped load up meals in the back of vehicles lined up outside Flint Northwestern High School on a snow Saturday morning, but he also delivered an assist to Flint children ahead of the giveaway.
In the Vehicle City for the Holiday Hope Flint event that provided meals, clothes, and toys to families, the NBA Hall-of-Famer told kids seated in the gymnasium to chase their dreams.
“We want you to understand dream big. Get your education and you’ll be able to do anything in life you want to do,” he said. “I was once just like you. A little kid from Lansing, Michigan right down the street. I grew up poor, but I didn’t have poor dreams.”
Johnson stressed to children “Nobody defines who you are going to be but you, but you must get a good education so it starts in school.”
He pledged $250,000 toward Flint Community schools during a September visit that will be used to establish three walk-in clinics within the district and athletic facility improvements and told people he would return to the community.
The NBA Hall of Famer returned to the Flint-area on Friday night for a fundraising event titled “An Evening with Magic Johnson” at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre.
SodexoMagic, Johnson’s food service company, was approved for a $3.36 million contract with the school district in June. The company also holds a contract with the Saginaw School District.
Former NBA player Magic Johnson is hoping to cast his spell on the educational experience of some Chicago teens. Johnson is opening two Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies in the South Shore and North/South Lawndale neighborhoods this fall. The alternative schools targets students aged 13-21 who have dropped out of high school or at risk of not graduating, another path to earn a high school diploma.
A news conference was scheduled for Wednesday morning, where Bridgescape Academy executives, teachers and community leaders were planning to discuss the schools and officially open enrollment. Fifteen of the schools in five states are currently open across the country, with the majority located in Ohio. According to the web site, the schools offer programs suitable to a student’s “schedule, lifestyle and learning needs.” School days are abbreviated and flexible with an emphasis on online learning tools. The schools are free for students to attend.
It was much earlier this year when it was announced that there was renewed interest in exploiting the Soul Train franchise – thanks to Don Cornelius’ death. The news then was that Soul Train Holdings was working with WME to find ways to, as I said, exploit and grow the brand, which would include a film, a stage musical AND a TV show. “Certainly we want to proceed in a way that will highlight the contribution of Don to the creation of the brand and its subsequent impact on American culture,” said Kenard Gibbs, CEO of Soul Train Holdings.
However, there were some rights issues that they’d have to deal with, notably the music used in each episode of the series. But they were confident that wouldn’t be a problem. Things seem to be in motion again as it’s been announced today that Earvin “Magic” Johnson and his business partners have bought the rights to the Soul Train franchise for “several million dollars,” and are planning an upcoming musical based on the life of Don Cornelius, according to the NY Post. The musical, which is being aimed towards Broadway, will focus on the once mega-hit variety show.