When Magic Johnson was appointed President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers, on one hand it was an absolute step forward to remove the moribund Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak regime, but on the other hand, the list of star NBA ball players who successfully transitioned to top caliber management or personnel executives can be counted on the fingers of a single hand. Though a fine player and great coach, there is no argument that Phil Jackson has failed miserably as the guy making personnel decision for the New York Knicks. And who in LA will forget the great play and awful executive career of Elgin Baylor? Sure, Magic was a great player, has been a success in the business world, and has that engaging personality, but he did fail as a coach and fail as a TV host. That sounds like he’s batting 50-50 and his history is thus no prognosticator of what might come next.
Rob Pelinka was a players’ agent and a successful one, but does that translate into becoming a successful General Manager? My first reaction is an absolute No as a general
rule, but hey, maybe this guy has something that could work. As do many top level agents, he is well educated, with both a law degree and a business degree, each earned from the University of Michigan.
Well, the two of them came in with their work cut out for them, and with plenty of room for world-class mistakes. The biggest single challenge that developed was what to do with the second pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Continue reading