Magic Johnson Says He’ll ‘Step Away’ From Lakers Job If Team Doesn’t Sign More Free Agents By Next Year
The Lakers’ president told ESPN in an interview on Tuesday that he would be prepared to “step down” from his position should the team fail to bring in free agents this year and in 2019.
“We don’t know what people are going to decide, and we can’t control that,” said Johnson. “So if guys decide not to come here, it’s not a failure — we turn to next summer. Next summer, if nobody comes and I’m still sitting here like this, then it’s a failure. But if you judge us on one summer, that’s ridiculous. Then a lot of dudes shouldn’t be in their roles. Because if we’re banking on one summer for the Lakers, we’re in trouble.”
Johnson continued: “You have to give us time. Like I told you before I took the job and when I took the job, it’s going to be a two-summer thing for the Lakers. This summer and next summer. That’s it. If I can’t deliver I’m going to step down myself. She [team controlling owner Jeanie Buss] won’t have to fire me, I’ll step away from it, because [then] I can’t do this job.”
Johnson added that he did not want to feel any “pressure” to perform his duties as president, and urged the media and fans to be patient. This year, the Lakers drafted two big players: second-round pick Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, a Ukrainian small forward from the Kansas Jayhawks, and first-rounder Moritz Wagner, a power forward from Michigan.
Johnson said he is ready to travel almost everywhere to talk to potential free agents.
The Lakers have not reached the playoffs since the 2012-13 season. The team — which did not invite LiAngelo Ball to join their summer league — was recently warned by executives of potential tampering ahead of free agency.