Now, if it were up to Magic, they'd join forces to add to the franchise's 16-championship total.
Johnson, 57, was hired by the Lakers in early February as a special adviser to Lakers co-owner and president Jeannie Buss. On Tuesday, he said if he were given more control to shape the front office, he'd immediately reach out to the Black Mamba.
"First call I make if I'm in charge? Kobe Bryant," Johnson told First Take. "Because Kobe understands winning. He understands, also, these players. I would call: 'What role you want? ... If you've got a day, just give me that day.'
"I'll take that. Whatever time he has, I want him to come and be a part of it."
It'd be an interesting choice, certainly. Star players don't have the strongest track record of running NBA franchises, thanks to a few recurring tropes: an overinflated ego that doesn't let said former player recognize basketball'ls fast evolution; an inability to grasp the all-important transactional and salary cap minutiae; and overvaluing college performance (look no further than Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, who refused to trade the ninth overall pick of the 2015 draft to the Boston Celtics for four first-round draft picks, just so he could draft Frank Kaminsky, who'd just led Wisconsin to the college national championship game).
At 19-38, the Lakers have the NBA's third-worst record.
As of now, though, Johnson doesn't have the power to hire Bryant. But he's working on that.
"[I'm] working to call the shots, because it only works that way," Johnson told USA Today on Monday. "Right now I'm advising. I get that. But at the end of the day, then we all got to come together and somebody's got to say, 'I'm making the final call,' all right? And who's that going to be? So, we'll see what happens."