Magic Johnson Told Jeanie Buss He Wanted To Play For Detroit Pistons

Magic Johnson Told Jeanie Buss He Wanted To Play For Detroit Pistons


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Back in 1979, Dr. Jerry Buss bought the Los Angeles Lakers franchise and his first move as the new owner was about as good as any he made in his 33 years of ownership.

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Buss selected Magic Johnson with the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA draft and forever changed the storied franchise as a result. Interestingly enough, Magic had other intentions telling Dr. Buss’ daughter, Jeanie, he was only going to stay in Los Angeles for three years.

Jeanie said the following about her first meeting with Magic in a post she wrote for

“I showed him to the living room, and we chatted for a few moments. He told me matter-of-factly that he appreciated being drafted by the Lakers but that he was only going to stay for three years because he wanted to go home to Michigan and play for his hometown team – the Detroit Pistons.”

Incredible to think that Magic was set on going to the Detroit Pistons before meeting Dr. Buss. Ironically enough, the Pistons GM at the time, Jack McCloskey, offered the entire Detroit roster to Los Angeles for the Michigan State star. Obviously, the Lakers didn’t take the deal and the rest is history.

Dr. Buss told Jeanie not to worry via CSQ:

My dad didn’t bat an eye. He told me, “Jeanie, don’t worry. He may say that today, but the first time he puts on a Lakers’ uniform and steps out on the Forum floor, he is never going to leave.”

For lack of a better word, Dr. Buss was a genius when it came to making all the right moves for the Lakers franchise. Buss went on to win 10 NBA titles and became arguably the greatest owner in professional sports as a result.

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Every move the late owner made always seemed to pay off in one way or another. Some of the greatest players in NBA history wore a Lakers jersey during his time as the owner with the team acquiring players like James Worthy, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol.
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  • Jim213

    Dr. Buss was a futurist, too bad great minds lack today within management (no diss). 😛

  • Jim213

    Per Brian Windhor (ESPN), Pelicans will send their 2015 1st rnd pick to Houston for Omer Asik to clear cap space to make a run @ LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

    That’s a steal for the pelicans when the Rockettes wanted at most 3 first rounders for Asik this past season. IMO, neither Melo or LJ will end up with the Rockettes. Believed the draft would change to let team’s make a run at Lebron. No diss to FO but the western conference will be more competitive than last year given all these late trades before the draft.

    What do the masses get?… ‘most of the roster returning next season?’ NO tanking next year tho!


    Too bad Magic’s a sell out who tosses his “beloved” team under the bus any chance he gets.

    • AntRodrigues

      Bullshit…. Magic tells it like it is.. If Chick was still alive he would be destroying the Lakers verbally because THEY EXPECT GREATNESS! It’s not selling out….It’s being REAL!

      • DKWTTY

        I can handle real, I can’t handle the flip flopping back and forth that he does. Magic is a fair weather type of person. Explains a lot.

    • Lakers Realist

      His criticism is needed, look how much of a mess the franchise is right now. If he were to tow the company line rather than holding Jim and Jeanie responsible for how things are right now, who else would step up and demand action to return the team to greatness?

      • DKWTTY

        Well if your house is a mess are you going to yell it to the outside world or step in and try and help or encourage? Mitch got us Dwight Howard, they traded for CP3. A lot of this crap we’re in now is a result of David Stern. Bad luck. You think Jim and Jeanie don’t want to win? You all act like they are intentionally trying to ruin the Lakers, they know they have to step up. Jim even said he’ll step down if he can’t get things done.

        • kookiebuger

          Okay he got Howard but did he keep him happy? No, he hired Mike over Phil which is a horrible move, he traded 4 draft picks for a 38 year old Steve Nash that’s unexcuseable now the Lakers are in this hole and his only plan seem to be just hope that LeBron and/or Melo signs with the Lakers which is highely unlikely, he overpaid Kobe if this was his plan from the beginning of the season, and right now it’s looking like the Lakers will be irrelevant for the next 3-4 years with little to no draft picks and no young foundation. It’s pretty hard to have faith in Jim Buss.

          • DKWTTY

            How was he supposed to keep Howard happy? Dude came off an injury and was probably frustrated at his own lack of explosiveness that he’s used to. Then he didn’t even try to make it work with the team he even clashed with Nash and NO ONE has a problem with that man, then everyone got injured. What’s Jim and Mitch to do about that? The only dumb thing I feel he did was trade those picks but at the time you’re telling me you weren’t happy about our team? Everyone thought we’d be instant title contenders. It’s not all on him. It was a chain of events that led to this, some not from the Lakers doing. Kobe will be gone in 2 years and we’ll have endless money and free agents to choose from. We are too used to being pampered. Give it a little time. We’ll be alright.

          • kookiebuger

            Kobe and Howard wanted Phil it was that simple, Phil is experienced with star players and keeping everybody’s ego in check and most importantly winning. I was happy with that team at first but Mike was having older players basically run non stop, he used a 8 man rotation, and doesn’t focus on defense, which is terrible he did the same thing in Phoenix. Kobe will be gone in 2 years but what will be left of the team? Love is starting to look like a longshot, Rondo,Marc Gasol, Aldridge are more then likely not joining the Lakers next year. The front office/fans is trying to delay the inevitable in a rebuild but the team might not have their 2015 1st round draft pick (top 5 protected) or there 2017 1st round draft pick (top 5 protected) with no young building block or coach. I have little to no faith in Jim Buss right now who doesn’t seem to have a plan right now outside of free agency which will probably leave the Lakers with nothing.

          • DKWTTY

            You’re right actually and it was Jim who turned away Phil Jackson because he acts like a bitch and has something against him. I was saying we have a lot of cap space and the free agents in 2015/2016 look good so after Kobe’s done all we can do is hope they conspire to play together for the Lakers. Shit that’s all we have!

          • kookiebuger

            The Lakers don’t even have that they can’t offer more money to players like LeBron or Melo when the other teams (Bulls and Rockets) can offer the same max, thanks to the new CBA. The Lakers never really riled on free agency as well Shaq is the noteworthy free agent signing the Lakers got the rest were through the draft or trades. Honestly the best thing Jim Buss can do for Kobe is trade him to a contender so he can try and get ring #6 but that is extremely unlikely.

          • DKWTTY

            I’m talking about after Kobe’s deal is done because fans are mad about how much money they gave him. If Melo comes to the Lakers things might change. Either they pull off a miracle now or we have to wait until Kobe is gone and grab free agents to play together for the Lakers. We have no other choice. Kobe wouldn’t want that either. I’d hate that.

          • pcf

            jim/mitch were in control of our 2009 and 2010 titles,thast why jim accepted the trophys at the podium so cut them some slack….dr buss hasnt been involved day to day 4 a long time now,since he was battling cancer for years, i would guess the last thing he did was in 2007 kookie…p

          • pcf

            i love how fans forget how much kobe has done for the lakers..His salary is a thanks for the loyalty and also hes still damn good,and also if we let kobe instead of paying him what hes worth and let him walk what would the lakers fans say then? You made him a good offer and he took it.As far as d coward were better off without him…This also might be blashfamey or however its spelled but i think phils done,as a coach and i doubt he will have any luck as a gm from what ive seen. The lakers are a family bizness,and some of there moves are entertainment moves to buy time while mitch clears all the cap room in 2015.We all have to live with those realitys and also jim/mitch were behind the pau and paul trades,if those both worked we might be having a different convo today..Dr buss hasnt done much basketball wise since 2005…p

          • DKWTTY

            I haven’t forgot anything. I’m on the fence with his new contract. He does deserve it but it does handcuff in a way as well. You can’t deny that. That is unless of course Mitch is willing to go over the salary cap and has a plan, which I think he does. However the deal is done and we can’t do anything about it-oh well. Everything you just said I already said.

        • Evan

          http://thedailysportsherald [dot]blogspot [dot]com/2014/03/jim-buss-timeline-and-decline-of-lakers.html?m=1

          Replace the [dot]s with . and read that article. Jimhas a history of failure. Whether he wants to win or not…he isnt a good person for management.

          • DKWTTY

            I laughed at Jim is easily distracted and all the quotes of his sister throwing him under the bus basically. Even his sisters know he’s dumb. Dude really is a clown. Smh. I take back what I said. About the Howard trade too, that was actually dumb. I forgot D12 was a free agent after that. That’s the same reason no team traded for Pau because he was going to be a free agent anyway. There was no guarantee he’d resign. They went all in with the picks for Nash too and the trade for Dwight and still lost that season so that was a bust.

            Seriously though that angered me reading that. He needs to GO! He’s even too much of a bitch to face the fans. Got his sister doing interviews crying because he’s an incompetent fool.

          • Sam Saab

            wow i wish every laker fan would see this article and somehow protest against jim to step down!

          • Jim213

            Knew some of the info but informative article. Almost makes one want to say the Lakers should stink for another 3 years so Jim can exit the building. This is a business and if one doesn’t know how to build a competitive team step aside and let someone with the dedication/knowledge go forth.

            A lot of history and reputation Dr. Buss has built to have things be the way they are today. Good thing that D’Antoni quit otherwise the black cloud would loom even bigger. But the former coach shouldn’t get most of the blame being FO’s bad moves leaving the team literally talentless for the future.

            Hopefully Jim decides to step aside sooner than later and let someone else run things. He can then do as he wishes being travel, buy real estate etc etc… as he’s part owner. Enjoy the spoils and life… while leaving the basketball decisions to the dedicated ones.

            Dr. Buss took the brand to the height the franchise is known for today. It’d be bad for everyone including the league if hard headed ego’s keep getting in the way of change/progress for the long term success of the brand.

        • Lakers Realist

          Of course they aren’t intentionally trying to ruin the Lakers, and yes the franchise is still suffering from the David Stern veto. Easily set it back 5 years. Magic has tried to get involved though and he’s been boxed out. He has every right to criticize until they approach him and invite him to help them solve the issues.

          • DKWTTY

            Yup. Read the article Evan just posted in reply to me. I had NO CLUE Jim was this dumb. He was the one releasing all those lies to the media. We’re screwed.

          • pcf

            last time i checked the lakers are a family run bizness,and dr buss had jerry west groom jim to take over back in 2000. To say hes gonna step down is silly when dr.b set it up to run this way and,mitch will help him were he falls short. Has he made mistakes,yeah. But dont forget the back to backs,those were on jims watch also…p

          • DKWTTY

            You should read the article that was posted and realize that’s not true.

        • Tune

          He has tried to step in and help. They won’t let him i.

    • Evan

      I’d much rather listen to a man who speaks his mind publicly than PC answers and “company lines”.

  • ra

    Dr. Jerry Buss, class act. I’m sure he’s one reason Magic stayed, and also others wanted to play for Lakers.

    If the Lakers FO can make any player feel good (like Jerry Buss did), then the Lakers have a chance.

  • JohnSmith00

    Instead of learning from the constant failure of a “big 3” type roster, the Lakers are looking to repeat that mistake by chasing both Carmelo and that overrated clown. IMO the best formula for a championship caliber team to contend for years, much like the spurs, is simple. Two stars, a solid supporting cast and if possible a sixth man. The Lakers could have that if they just focus on Carmelo, if he joins the team convincing other smaller name free agents like Lowry, Gasol and Swaggy P etc to take less would be a cinch. As they would no longer be taking a risk on a rebuilding team but instead would now be joining a contender.

    • Jim213

      IMO, LJ to the Lakers is not happening. FO has a better shot of landing Melo as opposed to LJ. If #24 convinces Melo to join the Lakers certain that Kobe and melo will be playing a lot of 1 on 1 this off season. Kobe don’t play that and will help Melo to reach his peak level which goes with improving his defensive game. .

      • pcf

        i think kobe can help melo become great,and there really good friends ive heard…get melo mitch..p

        • Jim213

          Not too many all stars out there in the market down the road so best to take advantage of the situation. Although some say the Lakers are at the bottom of his list I’d disagree. Given all the rumors about Melo considering the Lakers at the start of last season rumors ran rampant..

          But later died down when bs sources claimed that the Lakers weren’t interested in Melo. Thus this led many including Melo to believe that this scenario was unlikely when in actuality it’s very much alive. Melo wouldn’t go around saying he’d consider the Lakers down the road for nothing or recently comment about this if he didn’t have an interest in joining the Lakers.

  • Coach’em Up

    I like my Lakers but let’s keep it real all the moves they have done been bad the trade for D12 was not a big fan I knew Steve Nash was a horrible deal from the jump since I saw his last run with the suns and he couldn’t be on the floor for 5 minutes straight and was getting toasted on D.
    Lets face it LBJ or Melo is not coming to the lakers, think about i am LBJ considered best player in the league supposedly and I am going to go to the lakers and play for 16mill when kobe raking in 24mill WTF yall smoking…
    Draft an athlete with some skills get some strong free agents that are versatile with a lot of tread left on the tires explore trades for salary dumps…
    and ball out.

  • LouisaMorrisonuda

    just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I
    didn’t believe that my sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from
    there pretty old laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only
    about 22 months and at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and
    bought themselves a Chrysler . see here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

  • Josh

    Not surprising, considering his Michigan roots and the Pistons’ desire to have him. It makes me wonder if I would have still been a Lakers fan, though, since I grew up watching Magic. I could have been a Pistons fan… Yikes!

  • David

    Great owners don’t become great without a great GM otherwise he would only be a great businessman. I would challenge anyone Jerry W. saved Jerry Buss numerous times from making decisions without consulting with him first.

    • pcf


  • Robert L. I.

    The only true mistake Dr. Buss really ever made was putting Jimbo Buss in charge of player personnel. It rears it’s ugly head even today. Jimbo has left the Lakers with little to negotiate with. The only pick we have is number 7, and we earned that right by having the worst record in Laker’s history.

    The Nash trade has/was an absolute debacle. He gave away picks, stupidly bringing J. Hill here when common knowledge told him D’Antoni & Hill did not care for each other, and how’d that work out? Let’s not forget Nash had his injury problems well before Jimbo brought him here.

    I am painfully disturbed by our pick too. Mitch blew the question off about Randle’s foot injury again today as if it were nothing. I disagree. This guy needs corrective surgery done to repair a botched operation that has to deal with a SCREW implanted in his ankle…WTF? How are we supposed to except this after all the other dumbassed decisions starting with hiring Brown?

    Ask yourself what are the Lakers going to do with a “I can’t play basketball all season but I have no problem playing soccer every summer” Nash, and a “D’Antoni pushed me until I blew out my Achilles, busted my knee and my salary guarantees team mediocrity” Bryant, playing a slow paced “Geriatric” back court?

    When you look at the 3 big stars at San Antonio and combine their salaries, they are less the K. Bryant’s. He’s mentioned before he’s not taking less so don’t kid yourself when you lay down those big bucks for season tix, because you’ll be lying to yourself. Gawd I hope I’m wrong.

    It fucking kills me too when the Heat pulled off a late negotiation and landed shooting guard Shabazz Napier. That was a Jerry West move if ever…

    Bringing Melo or LeFlop here won’t work either because Kobe’s ego will only stretch so far, and I for one can’t see it working. I’m truly hoping I’m wrong, but don’t be surprised if Jimbo’s horrible choices continue to haunt the Lakers and us fans. I for one hated when the Lakers brought “the dirtiest player in basketball” Karl Malone and shit talking Gary Payton here. That worked out well too!