Now that Magic Johnson has stepped down from his position as president of basketball operations for the Lakers, information will start leaking from the organization like a sinking ship. It happens with every regime change, but with such a high-profile persona like Magic, it’s bound to be a bit more extreme than normal.
One interesting factoid that recently came to light concerned Lonzo Ball, his father LaVar, and the former business manager of Big Baller Brand, Alan Foster. Quite the electric combination.
Shams Charania of the Athletic reports Lonzo, LaVar, and Foster concocted a plan to have surgery on Lonzo’s left ankle back in late February. This seems like standard practice, except for one thing- the Lakers had no idea it was going on. The Balls and Foster had left LA management, including Magic, completely out of their planning process. Lonzo flew to Ohio in preparation to have the surgery before calling Magic, who was understandably distressed by this news.
Magic consulted the rest of the Lakers staff and called Lonzo back to tell him that, if he went through with this decision, the Lakers could void his contract entirely. A player cannot undergo surgery without his team’s knowledge or consent, and if they choose to do so, it violates the terms of the contract.
This seems to be the type of thing that one would expect to happen when you combine the Ball family, their (very shady) business partner in Foster, and the whirlwind that was Magic Johnson, President of Basketball Operations. It sounds like Magic is the hero in this situation, though; if Lonzo had gone through with the surgery with a non-Lakers approved doctor, it would have not only resulted in his voided contract, but might have permanently altered his ankle and the course of his career.
Just a hint of what goes on behind the scenes, and how little most of us really know about the inner workings of the NBA.