THE LAKERS LOSE THEIR MAGIC
The man whom most people thought of as the very heart of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team has thrown in the towel at a non-scheduled press conference before the Lakers last game of the season with the Portland Trail Blazers. Apparently Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson told no one about his decision to leave the legendary Los Angeles basketball team, not even team owner Jeanie Buss or LeBron James, whom Johnson himself recruited to the Lakers team.
Citing one of the best reasons ever for giving up the presidency of the Lakers, Magic simply stated that ‘it was not fun anymore’. Actually he said, “Tomorrow, I’d have to affect somebody’s livelihood and life. That’s not fun for me. That’s not who I am”. Anyone familiar with Magic Johnson could have told you that.
Anyone who saw Magic at the services honoring the late Jerry Buss heard the former NBA All Star pour out his heart recalling stories of himself with Mr. Buss. The relationship between the Buss family and Earvin Johnson runs deep. It must have been very difficult for him to resign as he did.
Apparently there has existed a rift between Johnson and current Laker head coach Luke Walton, who is himself a former power forward for the LA Lakers, winning two NBA Championships in 2009 & 2010. Luke’s father is two time NBA All Star Bill Walton.
At just 39 years old, Luke Walton is one of the youngest head coaches in the NBA. He is also one of the most successful in recent years moving from the interim head coach for the Golden State Warriors to the coveted position of head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Whatever the friction was or is between Walton and Magic, it must be pretty heavy to cause Johnson to walk away like this. Magic told the press that he is sick of tampering rules, he’s tired of the “backstabbing” and also said the he ‘didn’t want to disappoint Jeanie by firing Luke’. That’s about as direct an indicator as Magic would say that day.
When someone at the impromptu press conference asked Johnson if he had told Jeanie Buss about his decision, Magic got misty and said, “No I haven’t. I couldn’t. I could not stand to tell her. But the one thing she had in me was somebody she could trust and was loyal to her”.
Obviously the affection goes both ways as Ms. Buss responded in kind, “Earvin, I loved working side by side with you. You’ve brought us a long way. We will continue the journey. We love you”.
This off season will be huge for the Los Angeles Lakers. LA fans wait with baited breath to see how the organization will move forward without their Magic.