In a year that’s featured some surreal moments, Magic Johnson set a new bar that will not be topped when he hosted an impromptu press conference and announced he was stepping down as Lakers president.
Johnson said he wanted to have more fun and be himself again, saying he felt handcuffed in his role and wanted to go back to just being a fan and a sometimes advisor to owner Jeanie Buss. The meeting with the media was the first anyone had heard of Johnson’s decision to step down, however, including Buss and the Lakers team.
Magic told the media he simply couldn’t handle the idea of telling Buss he was quitting face-to-face and after his 45 minutes with the media went in search of her in the bowels of Staples Center. That was just one of a number of incredible quotes from Magic’s presser, but it wasn’t as if Magic didn’t have ample opportunity to inform Buss or LeBron James of his impending decision in recent days.
Johnson met with Buss for multiple hours on Monday, and at no point did he tell her he was even considering leaving.
The same goes for LeBron James, who he apparently had a meeting with over the weekend alongside Rich Paul about the Lakers future.
It’s honestly pretty incredible that Magic just up and quit without telling anyone, given how close he is to Buss and, you know, how LeBron publicly said Johnson was among the reasons he agreed to join the Lakers. Where the Lakers go from here is fascinating, but for now we can’t get enough of Magic’s incredible quotes.