LeBron James has decided to sign a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s been reported that the architect of the deal was the Lakers President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson.
Despite reports that the Lakers had no meeting with James when the free agency period started, it now turns out that Magic Johnson went to James’ Brentwood home and had a three hour conversation.
It was this conversation that convinced the former Cavalier to commit to the Lakers and their youth movement. This also solidifies Johnson as the closer he was hired to be.
Is Magic Johnson the Greatest in LA?
So after signing the superstar, with all the potential for hyperbole, it is time to declare Magic Johnson as the greatest sports figure in Los Angeles sports history.
Combined with his Hall of Fame career, he can consider himself the greatest of all time.
Greater than Walter O’Malley, who brought the Dodgers and baseball to the west coast. Greater than Jerry Buss who is the only owner in all of north american sports with 10 titles under his belt. Even greater than Johnson’s mentor Jerry West, who combined a Hall of Fame playing career with a Hall of Fame worthy career as an executive.
There are countless others with either playing, coaching, or executive careers and the 58-year-old’s is above them all.
Johnson and His Adventures in Sports
Consider the run he has been on since 2012. In April of 2012. Johnson and a group of partners he brought together wrenched the Los Angeles Dodgers from the dirty clutches of the McCourt’s.
With Guggenheim and Johnson in charge, the Dodgers have won five straight west division titles and last year won their first National League pennant in 29 years.
From there, Johnson and various partners bought the LA Sparks. They took on a team that was close to folding and turned them into one of the best teams in the league. The Sparks have played in the last two WNBA Finals and won it all in 2016.
Next, he bought into Major League Soccer, bringing a second team to Los Angeles.
LAFC, with the Lansing, Michigan native, and his fellow owners, helped fund the first outdoor stadium in the city of Los Angeles since Dodger Stadium was completed.
This year, in their inaugural season, LAFC has sold out every home game, where they are undefeated. They are also among the best clubs in the league.
Perhaps his biggest accomplishment, however, is with the Lakers. In the 18 months since he took office, the Lakers have drafted well and cleared salary cap space. Now, they have also snagged the biggest prize of free agency, LeBron James.
In six years, Johnson has saved three franchises and helped build another one from scratch. The feat alone is good enough in my eyes to cement Magic Johnson’s legacy as the greatest figure in LA sports history.