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LeBron James does not sound happy about the way Magic Johnson stepped down from the Lakers

Magic Johnson shockingly stepped down as Lakers president of basketball operations on April 9. On April 11, LeBron James filmed an episode of his HBO show “The Shop,” which recently aired. In that episode, LeBron, who again had only known about Magic’s decision for two days at the time, had a lot to say about what he called a “weird” situation. A few of LeBron’s quotes:

  • “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.”
  • “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. … 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 ass. 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.”

LeBron didn’t play in that final Lakers game — Johnson made his announcement before the game — as he’d already been shut down for the season to preserve his body with the playoffs out of reach. He said he was stretching in a room near the locker room when his longtime assistant and business partner Randy Mims approached him with the news that Johnson had stepped down.

  • “What do you mean, like out of his car?” James said he responded. “He’s like, ‘Magic just stepped down.’ I’m like, ‘Man get out of my face.’ “

But Mims wasn’t kidding. He told LeBron to go into the locker room, where the rest of the Lakers quickly started rushing in to see what the heck was going on. 

  • “No one had no idea,” James said. “We was like, ‘Damn. Right now?’ It was literally 70 minutes on the clock. I’m not playing but my team is still playing. And you kind of decided to do that right here. Right now. … I feel like there’s a time and place for things, and I believe you knew you were going to make that decision, so why would you do that here?” James said. “Why would you do that now?”

LeBron was, and is, clearly a little miffed about how this all went down with Magic, but there might be some solace on the way in the form of LeBron’s old coach with the Cavaliers, Tyronn Lue, who is expected to be moving toward a deal to coach the Lakers after the firing of Luke Walton. What an interesting summer this is going to be in Laker land. 

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