Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations Magic Johnson who has served for more than two years resigned.
The 59-year-old NBA legend made the announcement in front of reporters about 90 minutes before the final game of the Lakers’ sixth consecutive losing season on Tuesday night.
Johnson cite his desire to return to the simpler life he enjoyed as a wealthy businessman and beloved former player before taking charge of this franchise just over two years ago. he said, “I want to go back to having fun,”
NBA legend said before fighting off tears. “I want to go back to being who I was before taking on this job. We’re halfway there with LeBron coming (last summer). I think this summer, with that other star coming in, whoever is going to bring him in, I think this team is really going to be in position to contend for a championship with the growth of the young players.”
Johnson didn’t directly tie his decision to the future of coach Luke Walton, who was widely expected to be fired by Johnson soon. His boss is Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss, who hired Johnson just over two years ago after she dismissed her brother Jim, who was vice president of basketball operations, and General Manager Mitch Kupchak in an effort to change things up after multiple losing seasons.
The 16-time NBA champion who didn’t inform owner Jeanie Buss or general manager Rob Pelinka about his shocking decision said: “I couldn’t face her to tell her,” he said, referring to Buss. He later added that he would find her at Staples Center to address her in person.
Johnson and Buss had a three-hour meeting Monday about the direction of the Lakers, who haven’t made the postseason since 2013. Buss wasn’t expected to attend the Lakers’ season finale, but Johnson didn’t know that before he announced his decision, which he didn’t finalise until Tuesday morning.
There is no greater Los Angeles Laker than Earvin Johnson,” it said. “We are deeply grateful to Magic for all that he has done for our franchise as a player, an ambassador and an executive. We thank him for his work these past two years as our President of Basketball Operations and wish him, (wife) Cookie, (children) Andre, EJ and Elisa all the best with their next steps.
He will always be not only a Lakers icon, but our family. As we begin the process of moving forward, we will work in a measured and methodical fashion to make the right moves for the future of our organization.”
Johnson also says he’s tired of being fined by the NBA for tampering. Johnson, has been investigated four times for tampering after everything from a joking comment about Paul George on Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show to his response to an email sent to him by Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons.