LOS ANGELES—Former NBA player Earvin “Magic” Johnson, 59, announced on April 9 that he was leaving his position as president of the Los Angeles Lakers organization after serving two years in the role. The decision was not a result of the Lakers losing their last game of the season. The team has missed the playoffs for the past 6 years. Johnson’s resignation was a shock for many including his boss, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.
“I was happier when I wasn’t the president,” Johnson stated during a press conference after the Lakers final game Tuesday. “Tomorrow, I would have to affect somebody’s livelihood and life, and I thought about it and said, that’s not fun for me. That’s not who I am.” He added, “I want to go back to having fun. I want to go back to who I was before taking on this job.
He recruited basketball star LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Lakers in 2018 which was a big gain for the organization.
Johnson struggled with restrictions of being an executive. The NBA fined Johnson more than once for breaking policies, strict tampering, and appearing to recruit other players to the team without proper protocols.
The former basketball champion plans to spend his time pursuing simpler things as a businessmen. Over the years, he has invested in several businesses taking full and part ownership including, MJR movie theaters, T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants, Sodexo and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Johnson played on the Lakers team for 13 seasons as point guard. He is a five-time world champion, who donned the number 32 jersey.
The Lakers have won 16 NBA championships, second only to their archrival the Boston Celtics. Johnson won five titles with the Lakers in the 1980s. On November 7, 1991 he announced his retirement from the NBA during a news conference due where he revealed that he was HIV positive.