Have you ever seen one of Magic Johnson's tweets about who the Los Angeles Lakers should pursue in free agency and wondered "could this get the Lakers a tampering charge, since he is technically listed as one of the team's vice presidents?" Well, apparently the Lakers did too, because the team announced via a press release that Johnson had voluntarily relinquished his ceremonial title of vice president.
"Johnson has asked the team to eliminate his honorary title of Vice President, and to remove his name from the team staff directory in publications and other sources," the team wrote in the statement. "The change is being made in hopes of clarifying any confusion over Johnson's involvement with or representation of the team."
This change is seemingly motivated by Johnson's Twitter account, where he has built a large following for
announcing things a day after they've happened giving his views on the NBA, and sometimes even talking about the Lakers. Most famously, Johnson has said Jim Buss needs to sign Kevin Durant this summer and also that Jim Buss should not be involved in the Lakers' basketball decisions. He was also very happy Mike D'Antoni got fired:
Happy days are here again! Mike D'Antoni resigns as the Lakers coach. I couldn't be happier!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 1, 2014
The team obviously wouldn't want tweets like that first one to affect their pipe-dream pursuit of Durant this summer, so it makes sense they are parting ways with Johnson to avoid any appearance of tampering in that or other similar scenarios.
For more on the decision, including team spokesman John Black's comments on how Johnson's "social media posts are solely his, and do not represent or reflect those of Lakers ownership or management," the full statement can be read below:
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