LeBron: John­son quit team in ‘weird’ man­ner

The Tribune (SLO) - - Sports - BY TANIA GANGULI

Two days after Magic John­son stepped down as the Los An­ge­les Lak­ers’ pres­i­dent of bas­ket­ball op­er­a­tions, LeBron James spoke about the way John­son chose to re­sign like it was a be­trayal.

“I came here to be a part of the Lak­ers or­ga­ni­za­tion, hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with Magic and re­ally kind of break­ing it down and say­ing how we was gonna make this Show­time again, and I wanted to be part of that process,” James said dur­ing an episode of his HBO show “The Shop,” which aired Satur­day but was taped April 11 in the af­ter­math of John­son’s de­ci­sion.

“He ex­plained to me Year One is go­ing to be tough. … But I was OK with the process. At Year 16 you ain’t re­ally sup­posed to be wor­ry­ing about no damn process, es­pe­cially for me be­cause I’m in cham­pi­onship mode all the time,” James added.

“So it was just weird for him to just be like ‘I’m out of here' and not even have no like, ‘Hey Bron, kiss my butt. I’m out of here.’ I would’ve been OK with that. ‘Hey Bron, it’s Magic. Kiss my ass. I’m gone.’ Not even that.”

James’ agent Rich Paul did not re­spond to mes­sages ask­ing if the two have since spo­ken.

James and Paul met with John­son and Lak­ers gen­eral man­ager Rob Pelinka on the Satur­day be­fore that fran­chiseal­ter­ing news con­fer­ence for what was es­sen­tially James’ exit in­ter­view. They talked about the team’s and James’ goals for the off­sea­son, ac­cord­ing to a per­son with knowl­edge of the meet­ing. There was no in­di­ca­tion that John­son was on his way out.

Then, about 90 min­utes be­fore the sea­son fi­nale, John­son told re­porters he was step­ping down be­cause the job wasn’t mak­ing him happy, he didn’t want to have to ask owner Jeanie Buss to fire Luke Wal­ton as coach, and he was tired of be­ing ac­cused of tam­per­ing with other teams’ play­ers so fre­quently.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.