In a surprising move Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson the Los Angeles Lakers Legend, has stepped down as President of Basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The announcement was made at an impromptu news conference held before the Laker’s Game against the portland trailblazers on Tuesday.
Earvin announced he would be stepping down from the job with immediate effect. The decision seemed to have come as a surprise . During the press conference Magic announced that the he had not yet told Jeanie Buss, the team owner, who had no idea he was currently giving a press conference. He committed to meeting her in person to share the news.
In the press conference Magic lamented not being able to interact with players and assume a big brother role to other basketball players as a president of basketball operations due to tampering laws.
BREAKING: Magic Johnson has stepped down as Lakers’ President of Basketball Operations. pic.twitter.com/yrHkguOO02
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 10, 2019
The announcement will cap what has been a tumultuous few years for the NBA legend as president of Basketball operations after a promising start.
For the Loss Angeles Lakers, it will add another blot to what has been a disastrous season.
The Lakers will finish the season 37- 45. For the third year consecutively the Lakers have failed to qualify for the playoffs despite,signing Lebron James perhaps the games best player and most dominant force. The NBA superstar and the young core of Laker players has simply not been able to gel.
Despite a strong start , which at one point had them fourth seed in the west, the Lakers slumped. Lebron James went down with a groin injury which sidelined him for 13 games and once he was back the Lakers were never the same. Rumours swirling about a possible blowing up of the team in order to bring in Anthony Davis.
Magic’s resignation will also come at a bad time: the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be very busy in the off season where a number of marquee free agents will be available. The front office will be expected to throw all their cards in the Anthony Davis trade and surround Lebron James with one or two elite level sidekicks.
Magic’s legacy with the Los Angeles Lakers will be mixed. One of the most loved figures in Lakers fandom and a magnetic presence, signing Lebron James was a major victory, for Magic. But a number of of recruiting errors or and strategic mistakes will most likely come to define his legacy with the lakers.
First and foremost there was the failure to land Paul George in the summer of 2018. Paul George had long had his sights on the Lakers and it was believed to be his preferred destination . Ultimately spurred the Lakers in order to sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was thought that Magic could have done more in order to woo the small forward to LA.
Then there was the trade of D’ Angelo Russel an electric point guard and the number 1 pick of the 2015 draft, who was traded to the Brooklyn Nets after the Lakers drafted Lonzo Ball the following year with the number 2 pick. Since then, D’angelo has blossomed into a full-fledged all-star , and Lonzo Ball has so far failed to cement a place in the Lakers team and has battled with injuries.
D’Angelo Russell took the leap at 22.
– Career-high PPG, APG, FG%
– Nets 6th in the East
– Youngest to hit 500 3s
– First All-Star berth
Today he turns 23. What’s next? pic.twitter.com/zWlnHSw6fH
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 23, 2019
Other failures such as the trade of Zubac , a bruising and productive interior player to the rival Clippers also seemed to befuddle Lakers fans.
There were also rumours that Magic Johnson never fully committed to the job.
Since taking over as president of the Lakers, Magic Johnson never fully committed to the job. Often he was traveling and away from the team. His office hours were limited. He didn’t do a lot of scouting. Running an NBA team takes a tremendous commitment of time and energy.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 10, 2019
Ultimately the inability of surrounding Lebron with enough talent to make a deep play-off run would likely come back to haunt Magic.
Earvin, I loved working side by side with you. You’ve brought us a long way. We will continue the journey. We love you 💜💛 https://t.co/ofmQl6BtBz
— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) April 10, 2019
The Lakers will now look to hire another president in order to prepare the busy 2019 free agency with the hopes of snagging a big time FA to pair up with Lebron James.