Amid Terrible Season, Magic Johnson Steps Down From Lakers Role
Who could have seen this coming?
As the Los Angeles Lakers look to wrapped up their terrible campaign, Magic Johnson threw the franchise a curveball as he announced his decision to step down from his role as President of Basketball Operations. Working in a front office of a professional sports team is not built for everyone and after two years, Johnson realized that he was simply not happy with his role with the franchise.
“I had more fun on the other side than on this side,” he said. “I like to be free. I was like, damn, I’ve got a great life outside of this! What am I doing? You know? I’ve got a beautiful life. So I’m going to go back to that beautiful life, and I’m looking forward to it.”
The 59-year old Johnson was hired by team owner Jeanie Buss in February of 2017 as the franchise looked to restructure its front office. The team also hired Rob Pelinka to serve as general manager.
“If I’m going to step down from the Lakers, this is the best time,” Johnson said. “The draft is not here. Free agency is coming up. Somebody can be in here to recruit. … I’m looking forward to my life. I want to go back to being a businessman and helping the black community and the Latino community. I get to go relax and watch my Dodgers. … I want to be me. I knew if I stayed in the role, I’d be giving up a lot of me.”
The team released its own statement following Magic’s announcement:
“There is no greater Los Angeles Laker than Earvin Johnson. We are deeply grateful to Magic for all that he has done for our franchise — as a player, an ambassador and an executive. 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.”
The Los Angeles Lakers ended the season at 37-45, good for 10th in the Western Conference.