When Magic Johnson became the Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations during the 2016-17 NBA season, part of his vision eventually became a reality when LeBron James signed in 2018 free agency.
Despite having the best player in the league today, the Lakers missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season due to major injuries and Anthony Davis trade rumors.
As most expected Johnson to fire head coach Luke Walton, he instead resigned before Game 82 against the Portland Trail Blazers, which reportedly ‘stunned’ James.
Along with denying James was the reason why he resigned, Johnson believes he still has a good relationship with him and his agent Rich Paul, via TMZ Sports:
“No, no, no, no. I love LeBron. LeBron is going to lead us to the championship, so we’re excited about what he’s going to do. Also, we’re excited that he signed. It’s all good with me and LeBron. And Maverick. And Rich Paul.”
More than 10 days since Johnson’s resignation, the Lakers have stayed extremely quiet. While Johnson does not regret how he resigned, he shared he still talks to owner Jeanie Buss ‘almost every day.’
As Buss reportedly has ‘no plans’ to hire a new president of basketball operations, the Lakers are currently conducting a coaching search. And heading into Year 2, James and the team’s new head coach need to be on the same page if Los Angeles wants to return to championship contention.