Stunning news to come out of La La Land.
After calling an impromptu press conference, Magic Johnson announced that he is stepping down as the Los Angeles Lakers president of operations.
Magic Johnson says he is stepping down as president of basketball operations.— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 10, 2019
So, what caused Johnson to make such a sudden decision?
According to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Johnson was never fully committed to the job, as he spent more time away from the team than he was in his office. In fact, he never really did any scouting in terms of drafting and signing free agents.
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
It didn't end there, as Johnson stressed that the Ben Simmons situation hurt him, because he looked like the villain in the grand scheme of things. Johnson wanted to act as a mentor to Simmons, but as a team president, the NBA doesn't allow that. Those are the rules.
Magic Johnson would say in his press conference that he had much more fun as a team ambassador, and stressed he didn't want to ruin his relationship with team owner Jeanie Buss. In fact, he never told Buss that he was stepping down, citing he was too afraid to tell her face-to-face. Well, she's certainly finding out now.
Magic says the Ben Simmons situation hurt him because it made him “look like the bad guy.” Wants to be able to mentor people around the league. “Hopefully I can go back to who I was before I took this job.”— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 10, 2019
The Lakers have endured so much drama through this season, so it's only fitting that this is the latest gallon of gasoline poured onto the fire.