Magic Johnson Resigns From Lakers After Disastrous Season

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers legend quit his front office role suddenly on Tuesday night, just hours before the team took to the court to face the Portland Trail Blazers in their final game of the season. While head coach Luke Walton has been rumored to be on the chopping block for much of the season, it's Johnson that is the first one to bite the dust. But Johnson repeatedly mentioned Buss' affinity for Walton and Johnson's desire not to cause upheaval between them.

According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, nobody - including Buss - saw Johnson's announcement coming, with the five-time champion telling reporters he wants to return to his role as an ambassador of the National Basketball Association - "I was happier when I wasn't the president", he said.

We thank him for his work these past two years as our President of Basketball Operations and wish him, Cookie, Andre, EJ and Elisa all the best with their next steps. "She gave me full power to do what I wanted to do, but I think that with her and I, I want to always preserve our relationship".

"I had more fun on the other side", he continued.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Johnson didn't seem all that committed to the job.

Johnson and Rob Pelinka were hired by Jeanie Buss to replace Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak in 2017.

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This certainly was not the season L.A. fans imagined when LeBron James chose to sign with the Lakers in the offseason.

Johnson also criticized Russell for his maturity and playing style on the way out the door, but Russell has blossomed into an All-Star leader for the playoff-bound Nets.

However, the Lakers' revival stalled this season when James was injured, triggering a slump which saw the team fall from playoff contention.

Johnson remained publicly supportive of Walton, but Magic also was widely thought to agree with Walton's detractors who aren't impressed by the former Lakers forward's offensive game planning and rotations.

"My concern is over my relationship with my sister, Jeanie Buss", Oram quoted Johnson as saying. He stated that although his decision was hard, he needed to return to a place where he could "be free and not have handcuffs on me".

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