Magic Johnson stunned reporters when he announced he was stepping down as the Los Angeles Lakers' President of Basketball Operations on Tuesday. Johnson laughed and joked with reporters, saying he had not yet informed team owner Jeannie Buss of his decision.
"Today, I'm gonna step down as president... Rachel, I'm free my love!" he told sports reporter Rachel Nichols. Johnson said he "had more fun" when he was a "big brother and ambassador to everybody... I was happier when I wasn't president.”
When asked if he informed Buss that he was quitting, Johnson said, "She doesn't know I'm standing here, because I knew I'd be crying like a baby in front of her... But it's the right thing to do."
"Somebody gon' have to tell my boss," he laughed. 'Cause I know she's gonna be sick, but I know I couldn't face her face-to-face and tell her - even though I was just with her yesterday."
He said he planned to mentor athletes including tennis superstar Serena Williams, who called him a week ago and asked him to mentor her and join her advisory board.
Johnson said he missed being able to tweet to younger players because of rules and restrictions.
"You know, I thought about [Miami Heat star] Dwyane Wade retiring tomorrow and I can't even tweet it out."
"I had more fun on the other side than on this side, because now, tomorrow I would have to affect somebody's livelihood and life."
He also said he "didn't like all the back stabbing," a statement that many assumed was directed at Lakers star LeBron James.
Johnson's announcement sent shock waves through the NBA.
Last year, the Lakers acquired the NBA's top player, LeBron James, in the hopes of ending the franchise's playoff drought. But Lakers fans say James was only interested in chasing NBA records and becoming a Hollywood star.
The finger pointing began soon after reality dawned that the Lakers's will miss the playoffs for the 6th straight season.
Johnson was under pressure to fire Lakers head coach Luke Walton, but he just couldn't bring himself to do it. "Luke is a good man. I like Luke," he said.
Walton has two years left on his contract.
Lakers fans dragged the former Lakers star on social media for his cowardly exit.
"Magic Johnson decided it's better to just be Magic Johnson and quit on a woman he described as family," wrote one Twitter user.
"I'm glad he quit 'cause he wasn't doing anything," another user tweeted.
Johnson said he missed the beautiful life he had before joining the Lakers franchise.
"I was like, damn, I got a great life outside of this... What am I doing? You know, I've got a beautiful life. So I'ma go back to that beautiful life. And, uh, I'm looking forward to it."
He continued: "A monkey just went off my back, and I'm happy."
Magic Johnson just stepped down as Lakers president with this strange, meandering press conference. It’s too kind to call the Lakers a dumpster fire. Wherever LeBron goes, chaos follows. pic.twitter.com/iVhE9ApRVb
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 10, 2019