Magic Johnson: If Lakers put me in charge, first call is to add Kobe Bryant

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Two years ago, Magic Johnson suggested Kobe Bryant tell the Lakers he’d retire if they didn’t sign another star the following summer. They struck out in free agency, but Kobe still returned for one more season.

Will Johnson — who’s angling to run the Lakers’ front office — get more support in his latest plan for Kobe and the Lakers?

Johnson, via ESPN

First call I’ll make if I’m in charge: Kobe Bryant. Because Kobe understands winning. He understands, also, these players, you know? And so I would call. “What role you want, bro?” If you got a day, just give me that day, I’ll take that. Whatever time he has, I want him to come and be a part of it.

Johnson and Kobe were great players. Will that translate to being great basketball-operations employees? The track record of playing legends making that transition is spotty.

Kobe’s passion in retirement has become the arts, though he sounded open to advising in a limited capacity.

But Johnson has to believe in Kobe for a role with the Lakers, because the logic for hiring Kobe is the same logic for promoting Johnson.