Culture and character should supersede talent

Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson has stepped down as LA Lakers president of basketball operations saying he wanted to go ‘back to being Magic Johnson again’. The Lakers. like Manchester United, are a club guilty of valuing star power over commitment.Picture: Ethan Miller

If it’s any consolation to Manchester United supporters these days, the biggest and most gloried franchise in the world’s other leading team sport is in an even greater state of dysfunction.

While United haven’t won a Premier League title since 2013, the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t even made the NBA playoffs since that same year, an achievement in itself considering more teams (16) than not (14) qualify for the postseason every year.

Over the past fortnight the Lakers have not just parted ways with their coach, the lame-duck Luke Walton, but also saw the most recognisable face and name in its entire history, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, dramatically and abruptly step down as its president of basketball operations less than two years after assuming the role.

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