Sportress of Blogitude

Magic Johnson wants some credit for Lakers’ current success

Magic Johnson may no longer be running the Los Angeles Lakers, but the former president of basketball operations argued in a recent interview that the team would not be enjoying as much success early on this season without his previous contributions.

Johnson stunned the NBA world last April when he abruptly announced his resignation at an impromptu press conference. Rumors of organizational infighting, especially between Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka, was believed to be the primary impetus to Johnson’s surprising departure.

All that said, Johnson’s fingerprints are indeed on the Lakers’ roster, and with that in mind, he believes he deserves some credit for the team’s impressive 24-4 start.

”This team would not be in the position it’s in without me,” Johnson said during a recent interview with Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. “… ”This was my strategy, this is what I thought we’d be in three years. I knew we were on the right track. Everybody wanted to do it their way, but I’m good with who I am. … I think people respect what I’ve done for the team.”

Johnson insisted in the interview that he has “no regrets” over how he left the Lakers, but did admit he wished he would have handled things differently on a few fronts.

“The only thing I would have done different would be to sit down with Jeanie [Buss] and let her know I was leaving, sit down with LeBron [James] and let him know … otherwise, I wouldn’t have changed anything,” Johnson said. “I still would have walked away.”

Even with how his sudden resignation left the Lakers in turmoil, Johnson arguably is correct in his assertion that he played some role in where the Lakers currently stand.

On the other hand, the case could also be made that he failed to get the Davis deal done — which is obviously playing a huge role in the Lakers’ success — and that Pelinka instead deserves all the credit in that regard.

Johnson without question has long craved the spotlight, so his after-the-fact desire for credit should not come as much of a surprise.