Perhaps you are wondering who Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is and why he is getting congratulated in a large sans serif font. That’s a fair concern, considering that is not a very common name. Nonetheless, trust me when I tell you that he is a man worthy of our applause, for he is the newest minority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, replacing the one and only Magic Johnson.
That’s right — Magic Johnson is no longer officially affiliated with the Lakers for the first time in many moons.
“After heavy deliberation and a weighing heart, I have decided to sell my share of the Lakers to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. Dr. Soon-Shiong is a super Lakers fan, an outstanding businessman, a dedicated philanthropist and one of the most active community leaders in Los Angeles,” said Johnson. “I am truly humbled to have been a Lakers player for 13 years and an owner for over 10 years. I thank Dr. Buss from the deepest part of my heart and soul for allowing me such an incredible opportunity. I will continue to work alongside Dr. Buss, Jeanie Buss and Mitch Kupchak in their efforts to continually build and maintain the best NBA franchise in the league. This was a bittersweet business decision made on behalf of my family and myself, and I want to assure all the wonderful and loyal Lakers fans that my decision will in no way affect my dedication and support for the Los Angeles Lakers. I am and will always be a Laker for life.”
Ostensibly, Magic wants to have a bigger role as an owner, just like his buddy Michael Jordan. However, he’s not getting that with the Lakers, so he needs to move on and get some shares of another team. And you thought Magic was just going to sit back and be an impartial ESPN journalist. Don’t be silly.
As ProBasketballTalk’s Kurt Helin says, “It makes sense why he did it, but still it feels unsettling and wrong.” I’m not a big-time Lakers fan like Kurt, so I’ll just say it feels weird, kind of like Michael Jordan wearing orange all the time or Chris Cornell singing with the guys from Rage Against the Machine. Magic is a Laker through and through, only now he’s technically not a Laker. Weird.
Of course, when Magic is the figurehead owner of the Sacramento Kings or something like that, things are going to get really nutty.