Shaq calls on Lakers to hire another team legend to replace Magic Johnson

Johnny Flores Jr.Yahoo Sports Contributor

Just minutes after Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson stepped down as president of basketball operations, Shaquille O’Neal called on the team to replace him with another legend.

Reacting to the news on “NBA on TNT,” for which he is a commentator, O’Neal called on the Lakers to hire Jerry West to replace Johnson.

“There’s a gentleman across the hall, who is a born Laker. He was general manager when I was there and things didn’t work out and he kinda went away. I would like to see him get that job. A gentleman by the name of Jerry West. If anybody can bring the franchise back to where it was, it’s definitely Jerry West.”

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West, who currently serves as a consultant to the Los Angeles Clippers, previously played 14 seasons for the Lakers before serving as a coach, scout, general manager and later executive vice president of basketball operations for the team. In total, West spent over 40 years with the Lakkers.

O’Neal added:

“I would like them to take a look at Jerry West and give him the opportunity to come back and finish what he started in ’96 when he made the trade for Kobe Bryant with Charlotte and also in the same trade brought me there. I know he’s with the Clippers now and he’s doing well, but I would like to see him get that chance.”

In 1996 the Lakers traded Vlade Divac to the Charlotte Hornets for the draft rights to Kobe Bryant and signed O’Neal as a free agent which began a dynasty of back-to-back-to-back championships from 2000-02.

The Bryant-led Lakers would win two additional titles in 2009 and 2010.

West would leave the Lakers in 2000 and join the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002 before later joining the Golden State Warriors in 2011 before ultimately returning back to Los Angeles in 2017.

While it remains to be seen who the Lakers will hire to replace Johnson, West appears to be a far cry given his age, 80, and by all accounts appears to be enjoying his role with the Clippers. In March, West reportedly laughed at the Lakers for trading Ivica Zubac to them.

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