Having played for him with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s, Pat Riley knows Magic Johnson on a deeper level. When news broke that the former MVP and five-time champion has been named President of Basketball Operations of the only NBA team he played for, Riley knew the Lakers made the right choice in giving him the front office position.
The 71-year-old Miami Heat president spoke highly of his former player to the Associated Press via USA Today Sports and said he is proud of him and believes he can help bring back lost glory to one of the most storied franchises in the league.
“He’s going to try to rifle my pockets and I’m going to try to rifle his. But I’m happy for him, and I’m also happy for the Lakers.”
“There couldn’t be a better person and worker, I think, to be the sort of face and also to spearhead. He’ll get the job done out there.”
Although he admitted that Johnson did not consult with him before accepting his new role, he explained that there was no need to anymore as he already understands what it takes to be a successful team president.
Johnson is well respected around the NBA and his appointment as the Lakers’ new head of basketball operations has given their fans a lot to feel good about. If he can be as successful as how he was as a player, Johnson would be making even more of a genius out of Riley.