Magic Johnson Steps Down As Lakers President

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 4: Former NBA player Magic Johnson attends game one of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic at Staples Center on June 4, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Things were a bit different surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers about 9-10 months ago. Magic Johnson had just accomplished the unthinkable and was able to land LeBron James in free agency. After an injury-riddled, dysfunctional season, Johnson found a way to add an extra bit of drama around the Lakers.

Magic Johnson Steps Down As Lakers President

The Announcement

Johnson announced Tuesday that he is stepping down from his role as the Lakers President of Basketball Operations. He discussed his decision in a surprise press conference.

Johnson highlighted that he did not inform Jeanie Buss of his decision before the announcement. “Somebody’s going to have to tell my boss because I knew I couldn’t be face-to-face and tell her,” he said, “…I couldn’t stand to tell her.”

He also made a note of the lack of freedom that comes with an NBA front office position. Johnson likes to admire the game and have the freedom to congratulate players for their feats and milestones. Instead, he found himself getting fined for tampering nearly every time he mentioned another player.

What Now?

The Hall of Famer returned to the Lakers in an executive role in February 2017, replacing Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss in the front office. Even though Johnson was able to bring James to the Lakers, he failed to surround him with subordinate stars, or even competent players.

Fingers will most likely point to David Griffin, who was a vital part of the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers championship. His familiarity with James could help revive the front office and bring some stability to the franchise.

Amid all the dysfunction and surprises, one thing that is certain is that this will be a very important offseason for the Lakers. They are definitely not off to a good start and it will be interesting to see how this shocking news will affect the organization.

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