The Guggenheim Baseball Management group that eventually purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers from embattled owner Frank McCourt received a significant boost in December 2011 when former Lakers point guard Magic Johnson joined aligned with them.
A beloved figure throughout Los Angeles and successful businessman, Johnson served as the perfect figure to help rebuild trust between the organization and fan base.
Despite being known for a career that entailed leading fast breaks en route to winning five NBA titles and not time spent on a baseball field, Johnson has fit in seamlessly with the Dodgers organization.
He was among the owners on hand at the Dave Roberts introductory press conference on Tuesday, and Johnson held court with the media after the event.
During which, he called the Dodgers’ re-signing Greinke the club’s “No. 1 priority” this offseason. Greinke is expected to make a decision between the Dodgers or San Francisco Giants in the coming days.
Johnson also expressed a sense of comfort with his role in the Dodgers’ managerial search and hire, and said Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss should follow suit, via Mike Bresnahan and Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
You’ve got to get somebody to help [Buss] out,” said Johnson, an unpaid Lakers vice president. “Just play your role. There’s nothing wrong with being a great owner. Just like me — I didn’t try to get involved in this [hiring] process, because I don’t know anything about the manager [Roberts]. That’s not what I know, so I stay out of the way. I want to sit down there and cheer for my Dodgers. I’m happy with that. That is what I want him to do. Just let somebody else help him to achieve his goal, which is to get the Lakers back to being great again.”
Johnson regularly attends Dodgers home games and he was in New York during the 2015 National League Division Series matchup with the Mets.
Johnson got involved with the Dodgers’ 2015 draft by calling 11th-round selection Imani Abdullah to make a recruiting pitch in effort to convince Abdullah forego college and sign with the Dodgers.