Magic Johnson steps down as Lakers’ president of basketball operations

LOS ANGELES — Magic Johnson announced Tuesday evening he is stepping down as the Lakers president of basketball operations.

Johnson made the announcement at an impromptu news conference at Staples Center before the team’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, noting that he had not even formally notified team president Jeanie Buss of his decision.

Johnson, 59, said he thought to himself, “What am I doing? I’ve got a beautiful life, so I’m going to go back to that beautiful life. I’m looking forward to it. Somebody’s gonna have to tell my boss. I know she’s gonna be sick but I know I couldn’t face her face-to-face, even though I was just with her yesterday. We had like a three-hour meeting about the direction (of the team).”

He said he had already made up his mind to step down from the post, but kept the news to himself until he spoke to reporters Tuesday night.

“I’ve been talking to people, we’ve been talking about next year, and I’m sitting there saying, `I’m not going to be here,”‘ Johnson said with a smile.

A part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Sparks, the five-time NBA champion with the Lakers has been the team’s president of basketball operations since 2017. He previously had an ownership stake in the Lakers, but sold his interest in 2010.

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