Magic Johnson Quits As Los Angeles Lakers' President

Lakers’ President, Magic Johnson Quits Los Angeles Lakers

Magic Johnson has walked away from the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday evening.

There was no warning. There were no rumors. There was nothing to indicate what was about to happen when Magic Johnson jovially stepped in front of the media early Tuesday evening in a Staples Center hallway.

He nudged me, grinned, and said, “Bill is here, we have to have a press conference.”

Then his smile disappeared, his laughter died, and he quit.

Just like that, in a move as stunning as any trick he pulled in more than two years as Lakers president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson made himself disappear.

In the middle of his personal quest to return the Lakers to glory, with his star recruit LeBron James sitting across the hall amid the hope that more stars will be joining him this summer, Magic Johnson walked away.

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He made the announcement before telling owner Jeanie Buss. He held the news conference without the advance knowledge of team officials. This was his dream job, a role he could have reasonably filled for the rest of his life, yet he ended it all in nine words.

“Today I’m going to step down as the president,” he said, and the gasps could be heard from that hallway to Figueroa.

For the next 45 minutes, he cried, he joked, he preached, he mourned and, mostly, he tried to explain the unexplainable.

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