Despite his unorthodox departure, Magic Johnson has no regrets.
Johnson told TMZ Sports that he wouldn’t change anything about his abrupt resignation as Lakers president earlier this month and revealed that he is still in touch with the team.
“It’s almost like I never left,” Johnson said in the video. “I’m still talking to them every day. … I’m going to help them get the Lakers back right.”
Johnson added that LeBron James had nothing to do with his decision to step down.
“I love LeBron and LeBron is going to lead us to a championship,” Johnson said.
The Lakers landed the four-time MVP in free agency during the offseason but fell short of its high expectations as they finished 37-45, 10th in the Western Conference. ESPN previously reported that James was “stunned” by the unexpected move but still “stands behind Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and the organization.”
Johnson made his impromptu announcement on April 9 before the Lakers’ final game of the regular season against the Trail Blazers, citing his happiness as the main reason behind his decision. The news came as a surprise to Buss as well, who didn’t know Johnson was going to step down until his press conference.
“I had more fun when I was able to be the big brother and the ambassador to everyone. I thought about Dwyane Wade retiring tomorrow and I can’t even tweet that out. I can’t be there,” Johnson told reporters at the time.
Johnson had permission from Buss to fire coach Luke Walton before his resignation, but opted to quit instead.
“I was happier when I wasn’t the president. When you have to make trades, you’re not happy, when you like people. I think Luke is a good man. I like Luke a lot. So what we have different opinions about different things. That’s OK. My concern is my relationship with my sister, Jeanie Buss. That’s all I care about. All the rest of the stuff doesn’t matter.”
Walton later was fired April 12 and his position remains vacant, along with Johnson’s.