Our Theory of Who Should Be the Next President Of the Lakers

The legendary music executive is the perfect man to rebuild the franchise

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On April 9, Magic Johnson shocked the world when he announced unexpectedly that he would step down as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. The news caught everyone off guard, and hoops conspiracy theorists believe that the move might have been caused by LeBron’s grappling for control of the team’s front office. The Lakers are a mess right now, and the next man to lead the squad to greatness needs to have a strong knack for hoops and a thick skin to handle the pressure that comes with being the head honcho of hoops operations for such a historic franchise.

The search for the Lakers’ next president of basketball operations is on, and it got me thinking about who may be qualified to revamp the Lakers as a title contender. After some in-depth analysis based on knowledge of the game, marketing capability and fan favoritism, one man stood above all the other potential candidates: record executive Jimmy Iovine.

Not who you thought of at first? Just stay with us here.

Let’s start with his background.

Born and raised in the mecca of basketball that is New York City, Iovine has the sport in his DNA. While he was working behind the boards in the New York City music industry, other legends were forming at locations like the West Fourth Street courts and legendary Rucker Park. Any native New Yorker—even one who might not be all that familiar with basketball—knew about the greats like Lew Alcindor (formerly known as Kareem Abdul Jabbar), Julius Erving, Earl “The Goat” Manigault and Connie Hawkins.

Iovine is a Brooklyn-born engineer who lived through the peak of hoop greatness in New York City. After graduating from Bishop Ford High School, Iovine was introduced to music when he got a job cleaning recording studios. As the basketball world became familiar with future Hall of Fame ballers like Abdul-Jabbar and Erving, Iovine began to make a name for himself in the music business, being a part of more than 250 albums.

Iovine took his talents to Hollywood, but his love for the game lived on as he slowly became a regular at Lakers home games. Seen sitting and conversing with many of pop culture’s favorite figures, such as Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z, Iovine became one of the more famous fans in the NBA. 

His game-changing collaboration with iconic hip-hop producer Dr. Dre to create Beats by Dre has become a cultural phenomenon. Iovine introduced the ultimate listening device, and the noise-blocking headphones have become one of the most prominent accessories in sports, with athletes in every sport wearing them in pre-game warmups. Ever since the headphones took the world by storm (and caused a significant marketing controversy at the 2012 London Olympics), it’s become apparent that Iovine’s genius marketing ideas would be perfect for helping to bring the Lakers back to their winning ways. Iovine could potentially attract championship-caliber stars to block out the noise that’s stopping them from getting to the top. 

The formula would be easy for him.

First, lose Wish as a uniform sponsor and replace their patch with the famous red Beats logo. Second, share inspirational stories about his journey to becoming a sound engineering mastermind to woo potential free agent superstars. And to complete the recruiting trifecta, the main thing that would help Iovine stand out among other potential franchise presidents is his ability to connect hoops with hip-hop.

The adage still applies: Every rapper wants to be a ballplayer, and every ballplayer wants to be a rapper. With Iovine’s access to a slew of superstars and legendary emcees, the Lakers can steal a page out of the Knicks’ offseason playbook by letting rappers who are fans of the team recruit superstars to come to their organization. Bronx rapper Fat Joe did it when he recruited Amar’e Stoudemire to join his beloved New York Knicks. Iovine has the power to use the likes of Kendrick Lamar or YG to do the same for their hometown team. With the franchise’s already rich history of bringing in championships and molding legends, having some die-hard fans (who just so happen to be superstar rappers) show free agents the real meaning of “California Love” would be the icing on the cake in showing them the place to be.

As Jeanie Buss prepares to conduct interviews with various basketball masterminds to fill the position, there should be some serious consideration to looking outside of basketball when trying to reel in the right person to get the job done. Granted, great hoops geniuses such as Mark Jackson, Hubie Brown or Chauncey Billups could potentially do a great job, but what L.A. needs is someone who can give the people what they want: A lively hoops atmosphere, an even more star-studded fan base, and music experience could be the perfect ingredients for an entertaining, championship-winning franchise. That’s why Jimmy Iovine is the man for the job.

Related: Why Is Everyone Carrying Their Shoes Around in the NBA?

Why Is Everyone Carrying Their Shoes Around in the NBA?

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