At the end of the 2018-19 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers were expected to fire head coach Luke Walton following a 98-148 record in three seasons.
Instead, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson shockingly resigned prior to the team’s final game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
As the Lakers have stayed quiet and general manager Rob Pelinka is conducting the coaching search, Johnson spoke for the first time since his impromptu press conference.
When asked if he would change how he resigned without telling anyone in the organization, the 59-year-old has no regrets, via TMZ Sports:
“No, the same. Everybody knows I love the Lakers so I’m always gonna help them. Like right now, I’m still going to help them. I love my team, I love my franchise, and I love this city. You have to do things sometimes on your own terms no matter what other people think and I’m that guy. It’s almost like I never left. I’m still talking to them every day. I’m going to help them get the Lakers back right.”
Although Johnson no longer holds a position with the Lakers, he is still trying to help owner Jeanie Buss who he still talks to ‘almost every day’:
“I love Jeanie. Like I told you, I’ve been talking to her almost every day. I’m trying to help. Listen, I may not be in there physically, but I’m still there.”
With Buss reportedly having ‘no plans’ to hire Johnson’s replacement, he is still expected to help them in free agency. While Johnson was successful in signing LeBron James, there is likely awkwardness with how he left.
As it currently stands, the Lakers need to stabilize themselves first. They still have an opportunity to significantly improve the roster with a lottery pick and cap space, but it is difficult seeing a second All-Star player wanting to join James under these circumstances.