Magic Johnson is a name that no Lakers fan needs an introduction to, but he shockingly quit right before the last regular game of the 2018/19 NBA season. Although the Lakers have had a poor season, the decision from Johnson to abandon the team came as a huge shock. This is what he had to say about it.
Where It All Went Wrong
Magic Johnson took over as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations two years ago, and it was expected to be a match made in heaven. When he took over, they hadn’t made the playoffs in four years, and it was expected that he could turn their fortunes around.
What happened on the court didn’t really change, and for his two seasons as president of basketball operations, Johnson didn’t help them with their goal. Even bringing in ‘Mr. NBA Finals’ in LeBron James wasn’t enough to inspire the Lakers. They failed once again to make the playoffs in the 2018/19 season and Johnson felt stepping down was the right thing to do.
Wanting To Enjoy Life Again
Johnson said that he had way more fun acting as a “big brother and ambassador to everybody.” The pressures of steering the ship were not enjoyable for the Lakers legend who said he was tired of the backstabbing that had gone on during his time in charge.
He seemingly didn’t want to have the responsibility of firing Lakers coach Luke Walton, so instead of giving him a shove out the door, Johnson walked instead. It didn’t save Walton from losing his job though, and the coach parted ways from the Lakers in a mutual agreement. Johnson said he wanted to go back to the person he was before taking the role with the Lakers, so he bowed out.
Not Warning Anyone
The news of Johnson’s resignation would have been a shock to just about everybody at the team’s headquarters. Magic even said he hadn’t told president Jeanie Buss about his decision after calling an emergency press conference. Lakers management would have hoped with Johnson leading the team they could get back to winning ways, but they ended the season with a 37-45 record.
It’s not clear what this resignation means for Johnson’s future with the Lakers, but for now they’ll have to manage as best they can without their iconic hero.