Fitzgerald Cecilio - 4E Sports Reporter
Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) - The Los Angeles Lakers have named Hall of Famer Magic Johnson as new president of basketball operations and fired longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss.
Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss announced the surprise move, which came two days before the trade deadline.
"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect," Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss, Jim's sister, said in a statement Tuesday.
"Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new general manager to work with Earvin and coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new general manager in short order," she added.
Jeanie Buss said Johnson, Walton and the new general manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.
The Lakers , with the third-worst record of 19-39, are in serious danger of missing the playoffs for a fourth straight season.
Drafted by the Lakers in 1979, Johnson won five titles with the franchise during the 1980s and recently rejoined the Lakers in an advisory role.
"It's a dream come true to return to the Lakers as president of basketball operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family," Johnson said in a statement.
Kupchak spent 30 seasons with the Lakers , 17 years as the team's general manager, while Jim Buss spent 19 seasons in the front office and was in his 12th as executive vice president of basketball operations.
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