Magic Johnson leaves Lakers; says he'll mentor Serena

Magic Johnson leaves Lakers; says he'll mentor Serena

Sure there were injuries to LeBron, Lonzo and others, but under Johnson's direction, the Lakers went from having championship aspirations (founded or unfounded), to entering the lottery once again with a suddenly vincible James and a roster full of young malcontents who might or might not be talented enough to lead the franchise to wins in the near future.

During comments right after coach Luke Walton's pregame remarks, Johnson said he had not yet told team owner Jeanie Buss he planned to step down. One of the weirdest parts of his impromptu press conference was his non-endorsement of Rob Pelinka, the general manager he hired.

"I knew I couldn't be face-to-face and tell her", he said of Jeanie Buss, saying he loved her like a sister.

"She doesn't know I'm standing here", Johnson said.

In the end, it was all the theater of the Lakers' disappointing season bundled into a moment only a Laker - THE Laker - could produce.

After retiring and launching several business ventures, he re-joined the team in February 2017, when general manager Mitch Kupchak was sacked and Jim Buss was ousted as executive vice president of basketball operations. The Lakers are 4th in the Pacific Division.

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"Me and her (Lakers owner Jeanie Buss) have an incredible relationship and she gave me full power for me to do what I wanted to do".

"We [the Lakers] are halfway there with LeBron coming". "He will always be not only a Lakers icon, but our family".

Johnson, who said he had grown exhausted of the "the back-stabbing and the whispering" this season, also suggested he did not want to have to make a decision over the future of coach Luke Walton.

Johnson's desire for his old life wasn't the only reason for his departure.

"Serena Williams called me a week ago and said will you mentor me and be on my advisory board?" I get it. Because it was hard for me to go do that, to make this decision and come to this conclusion. Johnson left the team in good shape financially, with plenty of cap space this summer to attempt to bring in another star to pair with James. "But she's going to be fine, and I'm going to be fine".

"Tomorrow I would have to affect someone's livelihood and their life", Johnson said, without referring to Walton directly.

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