Magic Johnson stood holding a microphone, with a row of stained glass windows to his right. His voice rose and the energy amid the wooden pews grew electric.
“In front of all you guys,” Johnson said, 10 hours after he watched the Lakers fall to the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center, “we’re going to turn this thing around!”
Cheers swallowed the end of Johnson’s sentence. The hundreds of men gathered at West Angeles Church of God in Christ delighted in his message for the Lakers’ future.
Johnson couldn’t help but rally the crowd toward that vision for a moment. But for most of the hour and 17 minutes he spoke, Johnson focused on that day’s stated goal —...