On Tuesday, Magic Johnson abruptly stepped down as the president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers
“We’re just happy,” she told the outlet. “We’re just happy for him. No regrets.”
On Tuesday, Johnson, 59, abruptly stepped down as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations. When asked about what her husband plans to do next, Cookie stayed mum.
“Just know that he’s happy and we’re happy for him,” she said.
The NBA legend, 59, made the unexpected announcement during a press conference on Tuesday ahead of the final home Lakers game of the season against the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Today, I’m gonna step down as president,” Johnson revealed. “It’s the right thing to do, the right move to make.”
“I think that I had more fun when I was able to be the big brother and ambassador to everybody,” he continued. “I wanna go back to having fun, I wanna go back to who I was before taking on this job.”
Johnson pointed out that he was forced to sacrifice a lot in the title and was tired of being punished by the NBA for speaking to other teams’ players or commenting on basketball matters on social media.
The NBA legend and broadcaster has been investigated for tampering on four separate occasions since assuming the role, many of which stemmed from jokes and interactions with other players, according to ESPN.
“I thought about Dwyane Wade retiring [Wednesday], and I can’t even tweet that out or be there,” Johnson said. “Serena Williams called me a week ago and said, ‘Will you mentor me and be on my advisory board?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to do that.’”
“So when Ben Simmons called and we went through the proper channels and they made me look like the bad guy out of that situation, but I didn’t do anything wrong,” he continued. “I was thinking about all those times, all those guys who want me to mentor them or be a part of their lives, and I can’t even do that. I had more fun on the other side.”
As the Lakers move toward the future with recently acquired team member Lebron James, Johnson said has no regrets about his time with the organization.
He also shared his intentions to now shift his focus to the community and help players develop their basketball skills.
“I’m happy with what we did in two years. I’m not disappointed in anything we did,” he said. “I’m happy about the direction [the team is going in].”
“I’m a free bird, and I can’t be handcuffed,” he said. “This is a good day.”
Johnson first assumed the role as president of basketball operations in Feb. 2017.
Going into Tuesday’s game, the Lakers held a 37-44 record on the season. It was a slight improvement from last season when the team finished the year on a 35-47 record. The Lakers have not made the playoffs since 2013.