Johnson said he is not stepping down because of differences he's had with the team's coach of three years, Luke Walton.
Johnson, a Hall of Famer from his playing days with the Lakers, said he is resigning because he doesn't enjoy the job.
Johnson and Buss had a three-hour meeting Monday about the direction of the 16-time National Basketball Association champion Lakers, who haven't made the postseason since 2013. If that's what Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka wanted, then so be it.
"Her and I have such an unbelievable relationship and I think that she gave me full power to do what I wanted to do".
"There is no greater Los Angeles Laker than Earvin Johnson", it said. If missing out on the playoffs for a sixth straight year was hard to take, the fact the Lakers fell short during LeBron James' first season in Los Angeles made it even worse.
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A part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Sparks, the five-time NBA champion with the Lakers has been the team's president of basketball operations since 2017. He expressed his affection for Buss, saying, "I knew I couldn't be face-to-face and tell her".
"Me and her (Lakers owner Jeanie Buss) have an wonderful relationship and she gave me full power for me to do what I wanted to do". I don't like a lot of things that went on that didn't have to go on. We are deeply grateful to Magic for all that he has done for our franchise - as a player, an ambassador and an executive. I was thinking about all those times, all the guys who want me to mentor them or be a part of their lives, and I can't even do that. "He will always be not only a Lakers icon, but our family". I'm going back to that attractive life. "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".
Johnson's abrupt departure shocked long-time Lakers observers. "But she's going to be fine, and I'm going to be fine".