LOS ANGELES — Magic Johnson tweeted thank-you’s on Wednesday to Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, Lakers general manger Rob Pelinka and Lakers coach Luke Walton, as if he might tweet his way out of his botched exit from the team.
But it’s too late for that, or any other sort of abracadabra, during the most regrettable Magic act.
If anything, in announcing Tuesday he was quitting as the team’s president of basketball operations, Magic confirmed he’s not fit for the job. His explanation for the abrupt resignation was ridiculous for the following reasons:
— Magic said he no longer was having fun.
Seriously? Being the point person in attempting to turn around a once-storied franchise was predicated on having fun?
If so, Magic’s expectations were as off-kilter as expectations he could pull it off just because he was a great player. From the outset, the job promised to be nothing short of demanding and daunting.
Magic Johnson has stepped down as Lakers president of basketball operations. (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports)
— Magic made the announcement without first informing boss Jeanie Buss, while claiming he was stepping down in part to preserve his “amazing’’ ‘relationship with her.
His abrupt announcement put Buss in a terrible position, leaving her no time to plan. That hardly sounds like a way to preserve the “amazing’’ relationship.
— Magic suggested he had decided to fire Walton but didn’t have the heart to do it. But he did have the heart to publicly announce he had decided Walton was not the right coach for the Lakers. The move, if not classless, was thoughtless.
Magic got most of the credit for signing LeBron James. Truth is, Buss and Pelinka probably could have lured LeBron on their own.
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It’s clear LeBron wanted to be in Los Angeles as he grows his show business empire and prepares for life after basketball and that the climate and lifestyle better suited his family than life in Cleveland, Philadelphia or any other NBA city.
Sure, Magic is charismatic and maybe the greatest Laker in franchise history. But he had no real track record as an NBA executive. His exit after the past two seasons, during which the team went 72-92 and failed to make the playoffs, helped cement his legacy as the Lakers president.
Magic was a flop.
Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Josh Peter on Twitter @joshlpeter11
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