The Kupchak extension during that same month was a major point of contention. He had a year remaining on his contract, but Jim had convinced Jeanie that star players might look elsewhere if they sensed instability in the Lakers’ front office. Their father, the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss, had always preferred to wait until a contract’s end in matters such as these. Still, with Jim pushing, she gave in.
Jeanie’s determination to make the Lakers a superstar destination again is at the heart of this issue. That’s why Magic is running point again, promising to recruit top-tier talent the way Kupchak and Buss couldn’t. That’s why this past weekend was Jeanie’s worst nightmare, an All-Star game in New Orleans taking place without any Lakers players for the first time since 1996 (the pressure rises still considering the 2018 All-Star festivities are in Los Angeles).
Mr. Benson Reacts to Recent Pelicans Trade: “I could not be more excited to add DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the Pelicans. I know that everyone is thrilled with the anticipation of DeMarcus and Anthony (Davis) and Jrue (Holiday) and the rest of our team hitting the floor tomorrow night against the Houston Rockets. We are only a few games behind in the playoff hunt and I want to bring an NBA championship to this city. I think this trade puts us in a position where we are now more improved and can make a run. The NBA All-Star weekend was a great weekend for New Orleans and Anthony was a worthy MVP, and then we topped it off with a trade for one of the best players in the NBA. I was appreciative of Mickey (Loomis) for keeping me updated daily during the trade talks and I was 110% behind the decision. I hope all of our fans welcome DeMarcus and Omri with open arms to our great city.”
Los Angeles Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss announced today that the team has named Earvin “Magic” Johnson as President of Basketball Operations. In addition, General Manager Mitch Kupchak has been relieved of his duties, effective immediately. Furthermore, Jim Buss will no longer hold his role as Lakers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.