Magic Johnson stepped down tonight from his position as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. The news came during an impromptu press conference before the team’s game against the Blazers. According to Johnson, team owner Jeanie Buss was not aware of this decision or this event happening.
Johnson told reporters that he’s leaving this role with the Lakers because running the team isn’t as much fun as getting to just be a rich doofus who fires off tweets about the games on TV.
As much of a shock as this is to, uhhh, everyone, this was a particularly huge turn of events for Lakers coach Luke Walton. Walton was certain that he would get fired after Tuesday’s game, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. But now that Johnson is out of the picture as far as decision-making is concerned, there’s a solid chance he’ll end up staying with the team (for now). Johnson not only passed all personnel decisions on Buss during his press conference, but he also made it clear that he fully intended on kicking Walton’s ass to the curb.
Buss was much more complimentary of Walton than Johnson was earlier this season, but at no point did she commit to him as the head coach of the future.
Between the relatively constant tampering fines, and being unable to build anything close to a contender for even the eighth seed in the West, it’s probably safe to say Johnson’s tenure has been a failure. Sure, he was supposedly able to bring LeBron James to Los Angeles, but all Johnson really had to do was show up on time to the meeting that the team scheduled with him. James aside, the second-best free agent that Johnson has brought in might be two-time NBA champion JaVale McGee—though I suppose that’s the kind of success you sign up for with a basketball mind like this: