Magic Johnson’s abrupt departure from his role as Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations shocked the NBA world on Tuesday night. A day thought to be reserved for Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki’s final home games was tipped on its head when Johnson held an impromptu press conference at Staples Center and talked to the media for nearly an hour.
One of the most shocking pieces of information to come out of those interviews is that Lakers owner Jeanie Buss did not know Johnson was going to resign on Tuesday. As it turns out, LeBron James wasn’t told, either. This despite Johnson meeting with the two parties in separate meetings as recently as the weekend.
The news left a lot of things to talk about. How would LeBron and the Lakers react to the news their president is leaving his post? The team quickly released a statement on Tuesday night during LA’s last home game against the Portland Trail Blazers, and shortly after that Buss sent out a tweet, quoting the press release and offering her own statement of support for Johnson and his work with the team.
The tweet has to be a relief to Johnson, who is essentially leaving the Lakers so he can have more freedom to send out tweets of his own. But beyond that, he openly stressed about how Buss and the Lakers would react to his news. The stated reason Buss didn’t know Johnson was quitting was that it would be too hard to face someone he has a strong relationship with and deliver that news himself.
It seems that, despite the unorthodox way he stepped away from his role, both the Lakers organization and its owner still appreciate Johnson and don’t have any hard feelings about the abrupt breakup.