In the wake of Magic Johnson making his stunning announcement that he was resigning as Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations, the team released a statement thanking Johnson for his contributions to the franchise and wishing him the best moving forward:
There is no greater Los Angeles Laker than Earvin Johnson. We are deeply grateful to Magic for all that he has done for our franchise – as a player, an ambassador and an executive.
We thank him for his work these past two years as our President of Basketball Operations and wish him, Cookie, Andre, EJ and Elisa all the best with their next steps. 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.
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss also thanked Johnson on Twitter:
Earvin, I loved working side by side with you. You’ve brought us a long way. We will continue the journey. We love you https://t.co/ofmQl6BtBz— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) April 10, 2019
That is a warm reaction from Buss, who Johnson admittedly did not tell of his decision to leave before he informed the media, and could have been upset by the way all of this went down. Instead, it seems that the Lakers are taking Johnson’s resignation in much the same tone that he delivered it: As a way to keep his reputation as arguably the greatest Laker of all time intact before any permanent damage was done to it by his tenure as a team executive.
There is surely much more to come on all of this, including the fates of head coach Luke Walton and general manager Rob Pelinka. Given that Buss was evidently only just informed of Johnson’s decision tonight, it may take a while for her to decide exactly how the team will move forward. The Lakers’ statement saying that they “will work in a measured and methodical fashion” as they proceed would seem to be worth noting, then, and seemingly indicates we won’t have a full resolution on where things go next for at least a few days.
However, as Johnson’s out-of-nowhere resignation revealed, sometimes trying to predict what will happen with this organization is impossible.