According to a few different reports, nobody within the organization had any clue that Magic Johnson was going to hold an improvisational press conference to announce his resignation as president of the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
Which is so, so insane in its own right.
But he quintupled down on the madness by tearing up, pining for his ESPN job back, noting his acumen as a businessman, expressing his desire to workout with Ben Simmons, promising he left his old team in a good place, and noting that, “I’m a free bird, and I can’t be handcuffed.”
[You can watch the whole thing here]
His essential message was this: Being a GM is hard. I didn’t want to do it anymore.
Here’s what Woj tweeted shortly after the announcement:
Since taking over as president of the Lakers, Magic Johnson never fully committed to the job. Often he was traveling and away from the team. His office hours were limited. He didn't do a lot of scouting. Running an NBA team takes a tremendous commitment of time and energy.
This was jaw-dropping to watch unfold on live TV, but it fits with past Magic moves.
During the 1993-94 season, Magic coached the Lakers for 16 games, in which the team went 5-11 and lost its last five games. He then resigned, and said: "It's never been my dream to coach. I want to own, to be a businessman. You've got to chase your dreams."
In 1998, Magic had a talk show called The Magic Hour. It lasted three months and was panned from start to finish as one of the worst blocks of television ever. His sidekick was fired for calling the show an “an absolute nightmare.”
When it was taken off the air, Magic said: "I have 101 things to do. We'll have 10 theatres by next summer, we have 10 more Starbucks going up, we have three TGI Fridays going up, I bought a shopping center here in Hollywood - so that's four. So I have a lot of stuff going on."
[READ: The Lakers Don’t need Magic, they need a plan]
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