Magic Johnson. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Magic Johnson. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Mitch Kupchak was fired Tuesday as general manager of the struggling Los Angeles Lakers, and Earvin “Magic” Johnson was appointed president of basketball operations.

Team president/co-owner Jeanie Buss said she hopes the moves “will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightfully expect.”

“Our search for a new general manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well under way and we hope to announce a new general manager in short order,” Buss said. “Together, Earvin, Luke and our new general manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”

The team also announced that team co-owner Jim Buss would not longer be serving as the team’s executive vice president of basketball operations. The team also fired John Black, the Lakers’ longtime vice president of public relations.

Kupchak was originally an assistant general manager under Jerry West beginning in 1986, later succeeding West in the position.

The Lakers are in the midst of yet another dismal season, battling for last place in the Western Conference with a 19-39 record.

—City News Service

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