Magic Johnson Steps Down As Lakers President

Magic Johnson Steps Down As Lakers President

Magic Johnson Steps Down As Lakers President

"Let me get this straight: we see the tearful Magic Johnson talking about his love for Jeanie Buss, which is honest and real, that much is true".

Johnson didn't directly link his decision to the future of embattled third-year Lakers coach Luke Walton, who was widely expected to be fired by Johnson soon.

"I'm a free bird and I've been handcuffed", Johnson said. He met with Buss on Monday and held a three-hour meeting with her about the direction of the organization, he said.

"She doesn't know I'm standing here", Johnson said.

Johnson clarified that he worked well with Pelinka after they got familiar with each other, but that certainly wasn't a ringing endorsement of a guy he worked closely with for the last two years. If missing out on the playoffs for a sixth straight year was hard to take, the fact the Lakers fell short during LeBron James' first season in Los Angeles made it even worse.

Johnson has served as the team's president of basketball operations for over two years - the latest move in a long and successful career as a businessman and philanthropist after he retired from basketball in 1991 when he tested positive for HIV.

"I knew I couldn't be face-to-face and tell her", he said of Jeanie Buss, saying he loved her like a sister.

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Johnson is an National Basketball Association legend in his own right, having played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons.

"Me and her (Lakers owner Jeanie Buss) have an unbelievable relationship and she gave me full power for me to do what I wanted to do". "I want to go back to being who I was before taking on this job".

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Johnson and Pelinka met with LeBron James and agent Rich Paul on Saturday.

"Even though she said 'You do what you want to do.' I want to go back to having fun".

The Lakers paid tribute to Johnson, a Hall of Famer during his playing days with the team, in a brief statement. We are deeply grateful to Magic for all that he has done for our franchise - as a player, an ambassador and an executive.

But not everyone thought Johnson was good for the Lakers.

In speaking to reporters, Johnson said he was exhausted of the many things plaguing the team ranging from injuries, to internal politics to even betrayals. "But she's going to be fine, and I'm going to be fine".

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