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Kobe Bryant jokes that Magic Johnson deserves a second statue for signing LeBron James

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When the Los Angeles Lakers hired Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations, the franchise tasked with him with bringing in marquee free agents.

In the lead up to this year's free agency, he said he would quit if he fails to do that over the next two summers.

Well, we now know that there's no way he'll be handing in his resignation after pulling off the mother of free agent signings on July 1.

Soon after the 2018 free agency period began, Magic met with LeBron James and was able to convince him to join the Lakers.

The King agreed a four-year, $154 million deal to take his talents to the City of Angels.

Johnson delivered on his promise and has endeared himself to Lakers fans even more.

On an appearance on 'The Stephen A. Smith Show', purple and gold legend Kobe Bryant paid tribute to the Hall of Famer and joked that he should be given a second statue for landing LeBron.

Basketball legends Kobe Bryant (L) and M

"Magic was always my favorite player growing up," Bryant said. "Let's think about this: He wins five championships with the Lakers, right? And then he becomes an owner and wins five more.

"Then he steps away, he comes back now as president of basketball of operations and is influential in bringing LeBron James to L.A. I mean, they might have to get this dude another statue.

"What Magic is pulling off, man, it's absolutely incredible what he's been able to do and the legacy that he's had for our franchise and he continues to have for our franchise. It's ridiculous, man."

James officially signed his contract with Los Angeles on Monday and Johnson hailed this as a significant moment for the organisation in their quest to compete for a championship again.

“LeBron is special. He is the best player in the world," Johnson said in a news release.

"He loves to compete and is an awesome leader who is about winning and making sure that his teammates are successful.

"The Lakers players are excited to have a teammate who has been to nine NBA Finals. It’s a huge step closer to returning the Lakers to the playoffs and to the NBA Finals.”

The arrival of the three-time champion is likely to end the team's five-year postseason drought - the longest in their history.

But in order to win a title next season they'll need to bring in more star power and they'll surely continue to pursue a trade for Kawhi Leonard.

This already looks like the start of a new chapter for the Lakers and fans in Tinseltown are raising their expectations once again.

CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.

Topics:
Magic Johnson
Kobe Bryant
Pacific Division
Western Conference
L.A. Lakers
LeBron James
NBA

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