LeBron James has expressed shock and disappointment talking about Magic Johnson’s sudden departure from his position as the Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations on April 9. The three-time NBA champion revealed his feelings during the airing of his show “The Shop” on HBO, which was taped on April 11 but aired Saturday.
Johnson played a key role in recruiting James during last summer’s free agency and convinced him to sign a four-year deal with the franchise. The former Cleveland Cavaliers star admitted that he was hoping to get the Lakers back to their former glory days alongside the NBA legend.
James explained that he could not believe it when he was informed of Johnson’s decision to step down after just two seasons at the helm and admitted that he was hoping for at least a phone call from the Lakers legend about walking out the door.
“Between my stretching sessions, my right hand comes up to me and say, ‘Magic just stepped down.” James recalled telling business partner Randy Mims. “And I’m like, ‘Man, get the f— out of my face, you’re bulls—-ng me.’ I check my phone, I look at it, the s–t happened,” James said, as transcribed by The Washington Post.
“Personally, for me, I came here to be a part of the Lakers organisation after having a conversation with Magic, so it was just weird for him to just be like ‘Nah, I’m out of here,’ and not even have, like: ‘Hey, Bron…kiss my a–. I’m out of here.’ It wasn’t even that.”
“I came here to be a part of the Lakers organization [after] having a conversation with Magic,” James continued. “[He was] really kind of breaking it down and saying how we were going to make this ‘Showtime’ again. I wanted to be a part of that process.”
The 15-time All-Star was also unhappy with regard to the timing of the announcement as it was made just “70 minutes” before Lakers’ final regular season game against the Portland Trailblazers. James believes there is a time and place to make such announcements and he is certain it is not just before their final game of what was a disappointing season.
“We were like, ‘Damn, right now?’ It was literally 70 minutes on the clock before [tip-off],” he added. “[The team] is getting ready for a game. And you decide to do that right here, right now? I feel like there’s a time and place for things, and I believe that you knew you were going to make that decision. So why would you do it here? And why would you do it now?”