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szdaily -> Sports -> 
Johnson quits as Lakers president
    2019-04-11  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

MAGIC JOHNSON abruptly stepped down as the organization’s president of basketball operations Tuesday night, less than two hours before the Lakers’ regular-season finale against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Staples Center.

“I had more fun when I was able to be the big brother and the ambassador to everybody,” Johnson said.

The 59-year-old said he officially made up his mind Tuesday to step down, but that a lot of factors went into the decision.

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, or that he couldn’t congratulate Dwyane Wade publicly in his home finale.

“That was a great feat the other day, and I couldn’t even tweet it out and say, ‘Hey, congratulations man,’” Johnson said. “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 was 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, who played 13 seasons for the Lakers, was hired as the president of basketball operations in February 2017.

Johnson said during the news conference that he hadn’t yet told his boss, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, of his decision to step down.

He also said he met with Buss on Monday, where the two held a three-hour meeting about the future of the organization. Johnson said if he would have told her in person, he would have been “crying like a baby in front of her.”

Johnson also said his decision wasn’t about coach Luke Walton, who many expected would be fired by Johnson at the end of the season. Johnson and Walton reportedly haven’t spoken in weeks, either.

(SD-Agencies)

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