“Now he’s ready,” says Johnson, who infamously traded Russell to Brooklyn after questioning the young point guard’s leadership skills.
Magic added that he has yet to speak to Lakers majority team owner Jeanie Buss “directly” following his abrupt exit as president of basketball operations.
Per The Athletic:
“He’s better now,” Johnson told The Athletic on Monday night, tapping his right temple with an index finger as he stood in a parking lot outside the NBA Awards at the Santa Monica Airport. “He’s a different player. He’s more mature.”
That’s when Johnson says the Lakers should look Russell’s way — “after the super-superstar” options are off the board.
“Now he’s ready,” Johnson said. “He’s much more mature. I said the only thing, he was immature back then. He could always score, but the guys would never play with him because of what he did (with the Nick Young video). But now all those guys are gone and he’s on another level now.”