LOS ANGELES – Magic Johnson had the title he always wanted. He had the power to lead one of the most important franchises in the sport, carte blanche.
Everything he wanted to do as president of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball company, he had the power to do. Fire the carriage Exchange any player. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss repeatedly told him this.
But the only thing he really wanted was to become Magic Johnson again.
Beloved citizen leader. International celebrity. Lakers legend basketball ambassador.
It's great to be this guy. And Magic Johnson is great.
Being president of the Lakers basketball activities is hard. Really hard. And Magic Johnson had never figured out how to be Magic Johnson in that role, so he left suddenly on Tuesday night.
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As astounding as his decision was for all members of the NBA, he explained himself so clearly.
"I was happier when I was not the president," Johnson said. "If you have to make trades, you are not happy."
Johnson listed all sorts of unappetizing things about the job during a one-hour media session that spilled out into the corridors and hallways of the Staples Center before the Lakers finals game of the season.
He did not like it: "The beatings, the whispers, I do not like that, I do not like many things going on and they did not have to go on." I can not help young men who want me to help them, or I can not tweet, just like Russell Westbrook did a great job the other day I could not Tweet once and say, "Hey, congratulations." If I did, everyone would say he was manipulating, I do not like it, I like being free. "
He really did not like making the decision whether he should keep the battered coach Luke Walton.
"They gave me the power, this is the same side. I could have done anything I wanted tomorrow, but I decided to resign, "he said.
But what he really did not seem to like was the negativity he faced this season. Negativity that he could not keep out of.
In many life situations that could not charm, competing, or avoid Magic Johnson – whom he could not – talk show host, Lakers coach, and now Lakers president – he quickly got away
who needs the?
Magic Johnson stared death in the face when he was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and decided to beat him, and he did. Then he decided that all that was left of his life, he would spend exactly as he wanted, and said, "I have a great life, damn, I have a great life outside of it. What the hell .. What do I do, I have a nice life, I go back to this beautiful life, I'm looking forward to it. "
That's a nice feeling.
But it was also a cruel thing to do something to a woman that he considers a family.
"I want to thank my sister for allowing me to do that," Johnson said of Laker's owner Jeanie Buss. To tell her so I had to do it that way, because we love each other so much. "
You may love to say but to the world before you tell your family – not to mention your boss – is weak.
Yes, being the president of the Lakers is tough and if Johnson He did not have to go any further, but he could have discussed it with Buss and instead planned his exit to leave the franchise in an embarrassing jolt.
Leaving the trail while the franchise became one of the most important summers In recent history and with the situation in which Walton is still so restless, it feels like getting up when things get tough.
People have jobs they do not want and can not. They find a way to do them, or an acceptable way out of them.
Those who are close to Johnson say he is deeply moved by the constant allegations of manipulation that followed him idigt "and essentially forced him into the shadows this season. 19659030] In a spontaneous, far-reaching press conference, Magic Johnson explained why he had resigned as President of Lakers. Here are the highlights.
Magic Johnson resigns as president of the Lakers presidency for basketball and says Tuesday: "I want to have fun again, I was happier when I was not the president."
The Lakers need a new lead before a crucial off-season. So, what's next?
When he talked, he always said too much. It has always been like that and part of the reason why it was so popular. There is literally an NBA award named after him, the Magic Johnson Award, given to the player who has the best collaboration with the media. Magic was always that type, as a player and later as a public figure. He is amazing.
But that's not what a leader is. Not in a league for which information is treated not just as a commodity but as a weapon.
Magic has never figured out how to play this game. He is best when the cameras are on. In the shadows he got lost – and his identity.
Jeanie Buss was as astounded as the rest of the world to hear Johnson's resignation. A few hours later she issued an elegant statement and tweeted while she and the Buss family were working on the situation. Relatives close to the family said they were sad, angry and disappointed.
She spent the rest of the night at night with General Manager Rob Pelinka and several close advisers at the team headquarters in El Segundo.
] Johnson's quotations about Pelinka fell far short of a resonant endorsement that many asked if this circumstance led to his decision to resign. Lakers sources shouted this thought down emphatically, though Johnson's quotes suggested something else.
"Do I think Rob is the right GM?" Said Johnson. "That's a decision Jeanie has to make, I worked well with him, I had no problems with him, now they say he had bad things, I do not know, many of my agent friends had called, but Jeanie did it. " To make all calls, that is not a call to me. This is her organization. "
In a three-hour meeting on Monday, Buss had again made it clear that she gave Johnson the authority to make the basketball decisions for the franchise, including the authority to fire Walton and hire the one coach he believed had one better relationship.
He either did not want or could not handle this power.
Well, this power is back where it always should have been – with Jeanie Buss – she has to start with it, rather than to someone search to which it can be passed on.