Prior to the conclusion of the 2018-19 NBA season, Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson shockingly resigned.
As most assumed Johnson would fire head coach Luke Walton, there is uncertainty as no one within the organization knew about the announcement.
All of the attention is on LeBron James now, who signed a four-year, $154 million deal in free agency and missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Although James was reportedly ‘stunned’ to learn about Johnson’s resignation, he still stands behind president Jeanie Buss and the organization, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
LeBron James was stunned to learn of Magic Johnson’s decision to step down as the Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations, a source with knowledge of James’ thinking told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
But despite Johnson’s abrupt resignation, James stands behind Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and the organization, the source told Shelburne.
While Johnson was expected to provide stability, it will be interesting to see how his decision impacts the Lakers in free agency. With $38 million in cap space, the Lakers have envisioned a second All-Star player alongside James and the young core, but there are conflicting reports on actually signing one.