The legendary Magic Johnson announced Tuesday to everyone’s surprise that he was leaving his position as president of the Los Angeles Lakers he had held since February 2017.
“I decided today to step down as president,” Johnson said at a press conference before the kick-off of the final game of the Lakers’ season.
“I love my freedom, I have a wonderful life outside basketball, and I am very happy to return to this life,” added the five-time NBA champion.
Johnson, 59, has hinted that he disagrees with other Lakers leaders on the future of coach Luke Walton, suspended after a disappointing season for the California franchise despite the arrival superstar LeBron James.
“(Luke Walton) will be able to keep his position and build his team and” coach “as he wishes,” he said.
Johnson assured that he did not warn of the decision the executive president and co-owner of the team Jeanie Buss, which he repeatedly presented as “his sister” and that convinced him to take the presidency of the franchise a little over two years ago.
The resignation of Johnson is the epilogue of a 2018-19 season that saw the second most successful franchise in history miss the playoffs for the sixth year in a row.
The Lakers had yet started the season well and was 4 th in the Western Conference in late December when James was injured groin.
He missed 17 games and his team did not recover from his long absence. She dipped in the standings and failed to recover despite the return of “King James”.
Johnson, however, assured that his team always “went in the right direction.”
“With the arrival of another superstar, with LeBron and our young talented players, we will be OK … we will have a team to follow,” he warned.
“If that were not the case, I would probably have stayed, but I’m happy,” concluded Johnson, who was instrumental in LeBron James’ arrival in Los Angeles last summer.