Magic Says He Wants To Bring Kobe Back To Help Run Lakers

Johnson, who will be assisting Lakers president and part-owner Jeanie Buss as an adviser in basketball and business matters moving forward, thinks this Los Angeles squad is poised to be great - like Bryant and himself were when they won five championship rings during their careers as Lakers players. I would call: 'What role you want? "Because Kobe understands winning". I would call: 'What role you want?.

Magic Johnson: "If I took on the role, and yes I do want to do it". He understands, also, these players, you know?

For what it's worth, all indications from Kobe Bryant since his retirement has indicated he has no interest in being a public figure for the Lakers. Jim Buss is now the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

That lack of success adds to the questions about the level of influence Johnson will hold, as the Lakers have slid to the NBA's basement since winning their most recent National Basketball Association title in 2010.

Bryant said during a January appearance on Stephen A. Smith's radio show he would be willing to help out the Lakers if they wanted to use him.

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Johnson made it clear that he wants to be the one to "call the shots" in an interview last week with USA Today. "And who's that going to be?"

It's not clear that, if he came aboard, the famously imperious Bryant would be satisfied with merely providing some input, either.

"Black Mamba" retired last season, but the Lakers are close to becoming contenders once again.

Vanessa Coleman