When he was hired by the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 2 as a basketball and business adviser to owner Jeanie Buss, Magic Johnson was complimentary and supportive of executive vice president Jim Buss, a contrast to Johnson's past criticism of Buss. That has all changed. In an interview with USA Today, Magic says he wants to "call the shots" for the Lakers:
"Working to call the shots, because it only works that way,'' Johnson told USA TODAY Sports when asked what he hopes his role with the franchise will be. "Right now I'm advising. I get that. But at the end of the day, then we all got to come together and somebody's got to say, 'I'm making the final call,' all right? And who's that going to be?
"So, we'll see what happens.''
Johnson sounds like the Hall of Fame player who wants the ball in his hands in the final moments to make the clutch play. Johnson allows that calling these shots will take time and he is studying the collective bargaining agreement and salary cap structure to better understand the business. Johnson has never held a front office position before and while he sees himself as a great evaluator of talent, it is a good sign that he is willing to learn. Bottom line: Johnson's comments are not a good sign for Jim Buss' longevity with the Lakers. Buss boldly set a timeline for his demise and it looks like Johnson might hold him to it.