Magic Johnson plans to hug Lakers after NBA trade deadline

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson plans to hug it out with the Los Angeles Lakers to help them cope with the fallout from the NBA trade deadline.

“It’s a part of business, it’s a part of being a professional athlete,” he said Saturday. “I’m going to hug ’em and tell them that we got to come together and our goal is still in reach, which is to make the playoffs.”

The team president and Hall of Famer spoke with reporters at Michigan State, where he and the 1979 national championship team he led were celebrated before the ninth-ranked Spartans beat Minnesota.

The Lakers were in pursuit of disgruntled New Orleans superstar Anthony Davis and many of their players were mentioned as possibly being dealt before the deadline Thursday. The franchise ended up trading Michael Beasley, Ivica Zubac and rookie Svi Mykhailiuk in a pair of deals to acquire Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala.

“I love our team. I love the guys,” Magic Johnson said. “It’s a tough part of our business whether you’re mentioned in trade talk, or you get traded. It’s a tough part of professional sports, but they came together and played great against Boston. My job is to make sure we stay together as a team and stay focused on the goal, which is to make the playoffs.”

The Lakers, who are in 10th place in the Western Conference, play at Philadelphia on Sunday.

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson

Nicholas Norman is the founder of Distinct Athlete and one of the preeminent figures in the digital sports industry. Using his extensive background in sports media, he has built Distinct Athlete into one of the largest, most successful independently-owned sports blogs in the country. Nicholas Norman has worked in sports media for over 8 years, beginning with his time as a student at Troy University. His background includes six years working at the Forward Times Newspaper. Nicholas Norman founded DistinctAthlete.com in Jan. 2012.