Magic Johnson steps down as Lakers president

 

Magic Johnson’s time with the Los Angeles Lakers is done.

Johnson stepped down as the organization’s president of basketball operations on Tuesday night, he announced at a press conference.

According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Johnson said his job with the Lakers doesn’t “allow him to be the statesman of the game of basketball,” and that he can’t be himself.

“I was happier when I wasn’t the president (of the Lakers),” Johnson said, via McMenamin.

Johnson said that the rules regarding tampering in the NBA was a big issue for him. One example he gave during his announcement was that he couldn’t congratulate Russell Westbrook when he dropped 20-20-20 last week.

“That was a great feat the other day, and I couldn’t even tweet it out and say, ‘Hey, congratulations man,’” Johnson said, via the Los Angeles Times. “If I had did that, everybody would have been, ‘Oh he’s tampering!” I don’t like that. I like to be free.

“I got a great life. I’m like, ‘Damn I have a great life outside of this. What am I doing? You know, I have a beautiful life. I’m going to go back to that beautiful life. I’m looking forward to it.”

Johnson said that he hasn’t yet told his boss, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, of his decision to step down. He met with Buss on Monday and held a three hour meeting with her about the direction of the organization, he said.

“Somebody going to have to tell my boss,” Johnson said. “I know she’s going to be sick, but I knew I couldn’t face her face-to-face, even though I was just with her yesterday.”

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PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 20: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with head coach Luke Walkton during the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 20, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 20: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers sits on the bench during a break from the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 20, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 132-130. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 20: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers passes the ball during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 20, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Lakers defeated the Suns 132-130. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball upcourt during the second half of a game against the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center on October 27, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball against the Washington Wizards on October 25, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 31: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes to the basket against the Detroit Pistons on October 31, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 31: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball around Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons on October 31, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.� (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 3: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots during warm ups prior to start of a basketball game against Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center November 3 2017, in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 3: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers scores a basket against Rondae Hollis-Jefferson #24 of the Brooklyn Nets during half of the basketball game at Staples Center November 3 2017, in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 5: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers scores a basket against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half of the basketball game at Staples Center November 5 2017, in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 3: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on November 3, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 08: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the first quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on November 8, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 08: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers waits to enter the game during the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on November 8, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
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Still, Johnson said he hopes to have a solid relationship with Buss moving forward.

“Her and I have such an amazing relationship,” Johnson said, via NBATV. “I think that she gave me full power to do what I wanted to do, but I think that with her and I, I want to always preserve our relationship and love her. I think that I had more fun when I was able to be the big brother and the ambassador to everybody.”

This post will be updated with more information shortly.

 

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