Lakers legend says Magic Johnson doesn't get enough credit for 2020 Lakers title team - Lakers Daily

Lakers legend says Magic Johnson doesn’t get enough credit for 2020 Lakers title team

Magic Johnson Lakers

During his brief tenure as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson frustrated Lakers fans by making some questionable personnel moves.

However, former teammate Michael Cooper feels that Johnson needs to get more credit for turning around the team’s fortunes.

“I expected this (winning the 2020 championship) of the Lakers,” Cooper told Lakers Daily in an exclusive interview. “Even before COVID hit, the Lakers are a good basketball team, and I think Jeanie Buss, Linda Rambis along with Rob Pelinka definitely finished a tough job, but who doesn’t get enough credit is Magic Johnson.

“Magic started the ball rolling, coming in and influencing a legendary player such as LeBron James to come to L.A. and become involved with our organization. Usually, when you get a high-profile player like that, they can attract other high-profile players a la Anthony Davis comes into play.”

When Johnson was hired in 2017 as part of a front office overhaul, the Lakers were in the midst of the worst span in their storied history.

The team quickly started clearing out salary cap space while developing young players such as Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.

It made the team look attractive enough for James to come on board in July 2018.

Once James took his talents to Los Angeles, the tide had turned, and it helped steer Davis to the squad.

Johnson abruptly stepped down from his role towards the end of the 2018-19 season, but Pelinka did an admirable job of completing the construction of the team that would win the 2020 NBA championship.

Now with Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews, Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol on board for the new season, the Lakers seem well-equipped to repeat as world champs.