Magic Johnson resigned from LA Lakers after he was 'accidentally copied on emails' criticizing his performance
Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka were most likely responsible for the shock resignation as they repeatedly kept copying him on emails that were critical of his performance in the position
Magic Johnson's abrupt resignation from his position as the president of basketball operations at the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month came as a shock to the basketballing world. While Johnson cited personal reasons at the time for quitting, reports now indicate there may have been tension brewing between Johnson and management.
USA Today reported that Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka were most likely responsible for the shock resignation as they repeatedly kept copying him on emails that were critical of his performance in the position.
Speaking about the gaffe on Colin Cowherd's show this past Wednesday, April 24, Bleacher Report senior writer and Fox Sports 1 analyst Ric Bucher explained, "My understanding is that there were some emails that were exchanged between Rob and Jeanie about Magic and about what Magic was and wasn’t doing."
"They were critical emails," he continued. "And somehow, someway, Jeanie, from what I understand, was CC’ing or blind CC’ing Magic on everything. That was sort of protocol. Standard issue. Somehow, the exchange between Rob and Jeanie ended up on that string of the blind CC’s that were going to Magic."
Johnson's resignation came at a time when the Lakers are on something of a dry spell and trying to once again establish a foothold in the NBA championships. While Johnson, who spent his whole playing career with the Lakers, won five championships — close to one-third of their haul of 16 — as well as numerous individual awards during his time there, they haven't even made the playoffs since 2013.
Johnson's resignation was not something he had told the management about either. He made the announcement in front of reporters just 90 minutes before their final game of this season, a game which the Lakers would go on to lose 104-101 to Portland.
Johnson did not make any mention of any internal troubles, instead citing a desire to return to the simpler life he enjoyed before taking charge of basketball operations two-odd years ago. "I want to go back to having fun," he said, fighting back tears. "I want to go back to being who I was before taking on this job."
The Lakers had signed LeBron James in the offseason with the hope that he would give them the cutting edge they needed, and Johnson said the team would be in a good place with a few further additions. "We’re halfway there with LeBron coming (last summer)," he said. "I think this summer, with that other star coming in, whoever is going to bring him in, I think this team is really going to be in position to contend for a championship with the growth of the young players."
Johnson also brought up how he was tired of being investigated or fined by the NBA for "tampering" — he has been investigated four times for tampering in the past few years for trivial things such as a joke comment about Paul George on the Jimmy Kimmel show and his response to an email sent to him by Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons.
The Lakers, who did not expect the sudden resignation, scrambled to issue a statement thanking Johnson at halftime during their game against Portland. "There is no greater Los Angeles Laker than Earvin Johnson," it read. "We are deeply grateful to Magic for all that he has done for our franchise as a player, an ambassador, and an executive. ... He will always be not only a Lakers icon, but our family. As we begin the process of moving forward, we will work in a measured and methodical fashion to make the right moves for the future of our organization."