The legend steps down as Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations
LOS ANGELES, USA – On Tuesday, Magic Johnson, the National Basketball Association (NBA) legend, 59, announced during a news conference that his time as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers has come to an end.
“Today, I’m gonna step down as president,” Johnson, 59, revealed, adding that he had not yet told Jeanie Buss, the team’s controlling owner and president, or general manager Rob Pelinka. “It’s the right thing to do, the right move to make.”
“I love [Jeanie] as a sister,” he continued. “Her and I have such an amazing relationship, and I think that she gave full power to do what I wanted to do … I wanna always preserve our relationship.” She doesn’t know I’m standing here because I know I would be crying like a baby in front of her,” he added.
On Friday, April 12, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka announced that the Los Angeles Lakers and coach Luke Walton have mutually agreed to part ways, and thanked Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years.
The Los Angeles Lakers have not made the playoffs since 2013, and the recently-acquired Lebron James registered only a slight improvement from last season, along-side a reshaped leadership team.
Johnson assumed the role of president of basketball operations in February 2017 and according to ESPN, the NBA legend and broadcaster has been investigated for tampering on four separate occasions, many of which stemmed from jokes and interactions with other players or commenting on basketball matters on social media.
“I think that I had more fun when I was able to be the big brother and ambassador to everybody,” he continued. “I wanna go back to having fun; I wanna go back to whom I was before taking on this job,” alluding his intentions to shift his focus to community development and helping players develop their basketball skills.
“I thought about Dwyane Wade retiring [Wednesday], and I can’t even tweet that out or be there,” Johnson said. “Serena Williams called me a week ago and said, ‘Will you mentor me and be on my advisory board?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to do that.’”
“I’m happy with what we did in two years. I’m not disappointed in anything we did,” he said. “I’m happy about the direction [the team is going in].” “I’m a free bird, and I can’t be handcuffed,” he said. “This is a good day.”