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Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson Steps Down As Lakers President Of Basketball Operations: How’d It Go Wrong?

The Los Angeles Lakers at one time were a franchise to be feared and had a star-studded class of retired jerseys hanging above them. Some of the greatest players to have ever played basketball at one point in time played for the Lakers. Some of the legendary names such as Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the list goes on. And it doesn’t stop with their players: the whole franchise was made to be run this way, with great ownership from people such as Jerry Buss. 

Later on, former legend Johnson took control of the team, pledging that he would bring the Lakers back. Johnson convinced one of the greatest players ever in Lebron James to join the Lakers last year. Fans speculated a possible comeback for the Lakers. The team had been in a drought lately, failing to make the playoffs and losing at home badly. Many thought that this could be the beginning of a change in LA.

Fast forward one more season: James has missed the playoffs for the first time in almost 15 years while Johnson has decided to step down.

What Went Wrong?

Many people have blasted Johnson for his lack of success as being the president of the organization. Several reports came out saying he doesn’t know what he’s doing, or that he’s just a bad president in general. Reports had came out about James indicating that he had been playing hurt during the season and came back earlier than he had to and tried to force the playoffs.

Many people on the inside such as Buss said this came to her as a surprise, as she believed the Lakers were moving forward in a good direction.

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Johnson’s record does not indicate he was a good president. Over the past couple of years, it is no secret that the Lakers have traded and let several good players go. Deangelo Russell, has now made the playoffs before the Lakers did after having his leadership questioned by Johnson himself.

Julius Randle is also playing much better now since he hasn’t been on the Lakers.

Many people find Magic’s decision abrupt but he did add he was happier when he wasn’t the president and doesn’t like this restriction that’s been placed on him. The Lakers themselves faced several key injuries this season with their starting point guard Lonzo Ball almost missing the entire second half of the season as well as untimely injuries for key pieces such as Brandon Ingram.

He got Fired? It must be because of Lebron

On Lebron’s side, not making the playoffs is new but not the end of the world. James missed almost a quarter of the season (18 games) this year due to a back injury, during this time the Lakers fell from 4th seed to 9th, thus knocking them out of playoff contention. It seemed Lebron missed a key part of the season as other teams found out how to make their own roster click.

With all the rumors about trades going on, it had destroyed the team chemistry.

With James seeing the state the Lakers are in, against the doctors’ wishes he tried to return early but to no avail. It seemed sitting out the playoffs would be the smarter decision for the franchise and James longterm.

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Written by Elijah Fulton

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