Not the media, not general manager Rob Pelinka, not head coach Luke Walton, and most importantly, not owner Jeanie Buss, who wasn't informed of Magic's plans before he called his impromptu press conference on Tuesday night. It's hard when you love an organization the way I love this organization. "And I think I had more fun when I was able to the be big brother and ambassador".
Those close to the family, according to Ramona Shelburne, were "sad, angry and disappointed" by Johnson's decision.
Under Johnson's leadership, the Lakers got rid of young players D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, both of whom put together career years with the Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans this season, respectively. He drew the wrath of the National Basketball Association league office, which fined him $500,000 for tampering with Paul George in 2017 and $50,000 for tampering with Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2018. "I want to go back to being who I was before taking on this job". The Lakers struggled this season and missed the playoffs, despite having LeBron James.
Johnson said his inability to speak freely about rival players was a contributing factor, calling himself a "free bird" who didn't like being "handcuffed".
If it can pull off even one of those moves, the Lakers will be much better positioned to contend next season.
Magic Johnson is free to tweet as he may, but the remaining members of Lakers brass have gone silent.
Walton told reporters in his pregame news conference that he was not anxious about his future.
Johnson and Pelinka, Kobe Bryant's former agent, didn't know each other before they were paired by Buss, but Johnson said he worked well with Pelinka.
"She doesn't know I'm standing here", Johnson said.