Johnson, who serves as the team's president of basketball of operations, made the announcement at Staples Center just before the Lakers' season finale against Portland, NBA.com reported. Without using names, Johnson repeatedly mentioned Buss' affinity for Walton, who was in place before Johnson got the job in February 2017, and Johnson's desire not to cause upheaval between the owner and her chosen coach. For starters, Magic stated why he chose not to tell Lakers owner Jeanie Buss of his decision prior to the presser pointing out that she would've talked him out of it.
Johnson was in the position for just over two years and, while he helped land LeBron James, it's hard to say he's leaving the organization better off than he found it. Rumors about head coach Luke Walton's future have been swirling for weeks, putting him on the same uncertain footing as numerous young players who found themselves in trade rumors as part of reported packages for Davis.
"If I'm going to step down from the Lakers, this is the best time", Johnson said. It's hard when you love a person like I love Jeanie.
Walton told reporters in his pregame news conference that he was not anxious about his future. The team has put itself in a situation for a star to come in and they offer all the same benefits as the Lakers, minus the historic past. On his infamous early-season meeting with Luke: "I think everybody blew that up". "I had more fun on the other side than on this side... I like to be free". But it's worth wondering which decision makers could make there way in the Lakers organization.
But after James strained his groin at Christmas and subsequently sat out for the longest injury absence of his 16-year National Basketball Association career, the Lakers were unable to compile enough midseason wins to stay in playoff contention.
Johnson said he had not informed Buss or Pelinka of his decision before talking to reporters. Whether it's with the Los Angeles Lakers or another team, like the Phoenix Suns, the Ball patriarch is hellbent on creating an National Basketball Association "dynasty" around his three boys. "I knew if I stayed in the role, I'd be giving up a lot of me".