Ever since the Los Angeles Dodgers’s ownership situation started to unravel last year, I have very publicly stated on several occasions that I thought Mark Cuban would be the best man to rescue the franchise from the disaster that Frank McCourt has turned the the team into. As of today, I am officially changing my stance, as an ESPN report from Buster Olney today has revealed that Magic Johnson is actively seeking to be part of an ownership group to purchase the team.
In the interest of journalistic integrity, it is only fair that I point out that I am a diehard Dodgers fan and Magic Johnson is my favorite basketball player, and arguably favorite athlete of all time. That aside, there are plenty of reasons why anyone who has an interest in seeing the Dodgers quickly regain their stature as one of the premier franchises in professional sports should also be excited about this news.
Johnson is arguably the most famous and easily the most beloved athlete in Los Angeles history from his time as a Lakers player and team owner, and because of the success that he has had with his businesses and their impact on helping underserved communities. According to the report, Johnson role would be on the business side and in player recruitment as a team president or vice president. While Cuban’s wallet and genius in building a successful and sustainable professional team are admirable, Johnson is equally as aware of what it takes to run and play for a championship caliber pro team, and his name will carry much more weight in L.A. than Cuban’s or even former Dodger player like Orel Hershiser or Steve Garvey, who also both been linked to prospective ownership groups. Magic has been continuously and intimately involved in the L.A. community for more than 30 years now and there’s no questions that his involvement would be embraced by Bud Selig and other owners.
This is by no means a slam dunk, especially with the Dodgers’s bankruptcy sale complicating the process, but there is no question that this would be a win-win-win-win for Magic, the Dodgers organization, Major League Baseball, and most importantly, the fans.