BREAKING NEWS Minnesota health officials announce 5th Coronavirus-related death as positive tests hit 441 Full Story
SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Magic Johnson leaves Lakers front office job

Article Image

Magic Johnson, the beloved former point guard behind five world titles for the Los Angeles Lakers, announced he was quitting as the team's president of basketball operations.

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 8:40 AM
Updated: Apr 10, 2019 8:40 AM

Magic Johnson, the beloved former point guard behind five world titles for the Los Angeles Lakers, announced Tuesday night he was quitting as the team's president of basketball operations.

Johnson was in his second full season in the position for the Lakers, who are 37-44 and will be sitting out the playoffs.

The Lakers website says Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka are responsible for all basketball-related decisions. That included firing and hiring coaches and signing players to contracts.

At an impromptu news conference Johnson told shocked reporters, "I want to go back (to) having fun. I wanna go back being who I was before taking on this job," according to CNN affiliate KTLA.

The Lakers released a statement following Johnson's announcement. The team said it was "deeply grateful to Magic" for all he has done as "a player, an ambassador and an executive."

The Lakers will work "in a measured and methodical fashion to make the right moves for the future of our organization," the statement said.

"We thank (Johnson) 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," the statement said. "He will always be not only a Lakers icon, but our family."

Johnson returned to the Lakers on February 2, 2017, to advise ownership on basketball and business. He wasted no time on saying what his intentions were and he was put in charge weeks later.

Jeanie Buss, controlling owner of the Lakers, announced the hiring, saying, "Together, (Magic), Luke (Walton) and our new general manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness."

Walton is 98-147 as coach of the Lakers, who have not had a postseason game since 2013.

Johnson said Tuesday he had more fun as a mentor to players, as a big brother figure. He said he couldn't do that in his business role.

He appeared to hint that he would have had to fire Walton on Wednesday, and it pushed him toward stepping down.

"Tomorrow I would have to affect somebody's livelihood and their life," he said. "That's not fun for me. That's not who I am."

Johnson said his team was "halfway" toward the progress he once promised, with superstar LeBron James joining the team this season. He said another star will join the team this summer. "I think this team is really going to be able to contend for championships with the growth of the young players."

The basketball hall of famer told reporters Buss didn't know Johnson was going to quit, video posted on NBA.com shows.

He complained about back-stabbing and whispering.

"I don't like a lot of things that went on that didn't have to go on," he said.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 40°
Albert Lea
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 35°
Austin
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 38°
Charles City
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 52°
Rochester
Overcast
42° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 32°
Severe weather Saturday before the sun comes out
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Weekend setup for rain, storms, and snow

Image

Seniors give their best quarantine advice

Image

Coronavirus claims Alden coffee shop

Image

How Corona Impacts Weather Forecasts

Image

Man Missing after boat accident

Image

Minnesota girl's basketball all-star series highlights athletes without games

Image

Chris' PM Weather Forecast 3/27

Image

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Serves Rural Areas

Image

Risk of Off-Label Medications For Covid-19

Image

Going on a bear hunt!

Community Events