Magic Johnson, in my humble opinion, is the best basketball player ever. As a 6’9” point guard he literally changed the game. He’s only the only player I’ve ever seen that could score only two points and still dominate a game. He had the ability to make everybody around him great. He won five championships in his career and if not for injuries and an early retirement he might have won seven or eight.
I’m thrilled that he is now the front man on the group that owns the Dodgers. He is beloved in Los Angeles and will do everything possible to get the Dodgers back on top.
That being said I didn’t understand his reaction to the questions being directed at new ownership at the Dodger Stadium press conference last Wednesday. The Frank McCourt era was a disaster that Dodger fans are still trying to forget. But ever since the Guggenheim Group has taken over McCourt’s name is still prominently mentioned. Magic was sitting with him in San Diego on opening day.
Once he sold the team he would be completely out of the picture. He would completely disappear…or so everybody thought.
So it was natural that reporters would ask Magic and the rest of the ownership group about what role McCourt would still play on the Dodgers.
First controlling partner Mark Walter said that “every aspect of Chavez Ravine is controlled and managed by us.” He also reiterated that McCourt would only realize certain profits that would only come from eventual development.
The new ownership also said that McCourt will not make a penny off of parking and can only benefit from future development of some of the land surrounding the Stadium.
After Walter spoke Magic jumped in. “We own it 100 percent, he doesn’t get a dime from the parking…How many times do we want to say it?” an annoyed Johnson said. “I had
Mark go up to the mike…If you need me to come up I’m 6’9”…” Later he added, “Let’s move forward. Frank is not here. He is not part of the Dodgers anymore.”
Uh sorry Magic but actually he is a part of the Dodgers and he does get a dime from the parking. In fact he’ll get quite a few of them. In a report just two days later it was confirmed that the Dodgers owners will pay $14 million per year to rent the parking lots from an entity that is half owned by McCourt. After the report surfaced Walter admitted McCourt would get a portion of the $14 million after accounting for expenses, etc.
Yes Magic he’s still here. In fact he really hasn’t gone anywhere. He will still receive profits from every fan that drives into the parking lot and forks out the fee. He will receive profits from shops, restaurants or any other type of redevelopment that is done at the ravine.
One reporter asked the question of why McCourt had any part of the organization. Why were they still talking about him? Walter responded that they were talking about him because you – the reporters – brought him up.
Yes Mr. Walter they brought it up because he is part of the mix. Yes Magic you’re 6’9” but that doesn’t block the fact that McCourt is still making a profit from Dodger fans.
Don’t get upset with reporters for asking questions Magic. Get upset because the odor of McCourt is still hanging around. Start off the new regime with unbridled honesty. Come clean with fans and the press about McCourt’s involvement.
And once you do that get rid of him. Buy him out- whatever it takes. Just get him out. That would be your biggest assist ever to LA.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com.