"I'm happy...I get to go back to being Magic Johnson".
And with that, Earvin Johnson, Lakers Team President, turns back into Magic Johnson. The boss of the Los Angeles Lakers transformed himself back into the Lakers ambassador, mentor, all time great. All we needed was the puff of smoke. Before Tuesday night's home season finale Johnson dropped a bombshell that not only caught the NBA (including the Lakers themselves) off guard, but the entire world as well. Among the reason for the abrupt decision were the fact that he felt that he couldn't be himself. He couldn't be a mentor to other basketball players. He couldn't be in the community. He couldn't be "Magic". As President of Baksetball Operations he felt like he was pigeoned-holed into a role where his words and actions were constantly monitored. In an exclusive interview with ESPN The Jump's Rachel Nichols he cited the issues that arose when the Sixers' Ben Simmons wanted to speak to him. He wanted to congratulate Russell Westbrook on his 20-20-20 triple double but declined fearing that he would be subject to a tampering violation.
He professed his love for the organization as well as his love for Jeanie Buss herself, becoming emotional at the mere mention of her name. The one thing he made sure to get across was the he did not consult with his boss first because he did not want to be talked out of his decision. He didn't want to let the team down.
Whatever you think about his decision, he did it with a smile. Now we will get back to seeing it again.
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