Magic Johnson steps down as Lakers president

Virginia Santiago
April 11, 2019

It was widely believed Johnson was going to fire Walton following the season.

Magic Johnson shocked the National Basketball Association world on Tuesday night, when the former Los Angeles Lakers star abruptly resigned from his position with the iconic franchise.

Despite Johnson's sudden departure, James stands behind the organization and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, a source close to the All-Star forward told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

Besides that, he wasn't very good in two years on the job as the team's playoff drought reached six seasons.

Still, Johnson stepping down came out of nowhere.

Johnson was handed organizational control as team president in February 2017 and helped the Lakers land superstar LeBron James as a free agent. His record in the position so far is 98-148 in three seasons with the Lakers.

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"I like Luke a lot", said Johnson.

"I had more fun when I was able to be the big brother and the ambassador to everybody".

About 2 1/2 hours after Johnson's announcement Buss tweeted "Earvin, I loved working side by side with you".

The Lakers issued a statement following Johnson's resignation on Tuesday, thanking Johnson for "all that he has done for our franchise - as a player, an ambassador and an executive".

Johnson, who said he had grown exhausted of the "the back-stabbing and the whispering" this season, also suggested he did not want to have to make a decision over the future of coach Luke Walton.

However, he hinted that Walton may now stay.

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He said he was exhausted of not being able to talk to players on other teams and mentor them without the specter of tampering. A year of LeBron James' enduring prime was wasted without even a playoff appearance to show for all the struggles.

Johnson said he had already made up his mind to step down from the post, but kept the news to himself until he spoke to reporters Tuesday night.

"And I thought about that". "That's not fun for me, that's not who I am". "I don't want to disappoint her". "That's not who I am.' And then I don't want to put her in the middle of us, even though she said, 'Hey, you can do what you want to do.' I know she has great love for him and great love for me". I'm going back to that lovely life.

Johnson repeatedly cited the need for freedom of interaction and expression with other players as a key reason behind his decision.

"We [the Lakers] are halfway there with LeBron coming". I've got a lovely life. "This team is going to be in position to contend for championships". Johnson said. "And I said yeah I'm going to do that".

So expect the Hall of Fame point guard to offer some of that advice Ben Simmons was seeking, speak his mind about the entire National Basketball Association again now that there's no tampering concerns and, most importantly, get back to tweeting.

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