LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Magic Johnson is returning to the Lakers as an adviser to team ownership, the Lakers announced Thursday.
The role will encompass both business and on-court decisions.
“We are thrilled and honored to add Magic’s expertise and abilities, and I look forward to working alongside him”, Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement.
Johnson’s duties will include advising ownership on business and basketball matters, collaborating with coaches, evaluating and mentoring players, assessing future franchise needs, the team said in a statement.
Johnson, who won five NBA Championships as a Lakers guard, will spend time at Lakers offices in El Segundo and will report directly to Jeanie Buss.
“Everyone knows my love for the Lakers,” Johnson said in a statement. “Over the years, I have considered other management opportunities, however my devotion to the game and Los Angeles make the Lakers my first and only choice. I will do everything in my power to help return the Lakers to their rightful place among the elite teams of the NBA.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The announcement comes as the Lakers (17-34) sit near the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
With the team on the verge of missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, pressure is mounting among fans to replace either Lakers executive vice president and co-owner Jim Buss or general manager Mitch Kupchak, or both.
The Lakers last year revoked Johnson’s honorary title as vice president in an attempt to clarify his role with the team. Johnson had asked the Lakers to revoke the title, ESPN reported.
Johnson sold his 4.5 percent stake in the Lakers in 2010 to billionaire biotech investor Patrick Soon-Shiong.