The 2019 NBA offseason has been a wild one for the Los Angeles Lakers full of a ton of ups and downs and arguably the first major moment remains the most shocking.
Just before the 2018-19 NBA season finale, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson announced he was stepping down but hadn’t told anyone in the organization — including owner and close friend Jeanie Buss.
Johnson and Buss had long been very close, practically growing up together under the tutelage of the late, great Dr. Jerry Buss. While the decision itself came as a massive shock especially the timing of it, Johnson doing so without informing Buss was arguably even more surprising and many wondered if it would cause a strain on their relationship.
However, that doesn’t seem to be the case as Buss recently appeared on the Petros and Money Show on AM 570 LA and revealed she and Johnson remain as close as ever:
“I just want to say we are still as close as ever. He stepped in to a very critical time in the franchise in what was going on and things that needed to be put in a different direction. He stood by my side and led the organization by bringing in LeBron James as a free agent.”
Regardless of how anyone feels about the way Johnson left the organization, it can’t be denied that he played a major part in landing LeBron James in 2018 NBA free agency. The Lakers will be one of the favorites to win the 2020 NBA Finals and Johnson surely played a part in that.
Buss understands that Johnson simply wasn’t happy and that is something she never wants for him, though she does still wish she was warned beforehand:
“He didn’t want to do the day-to-day grind anymore. I don’t ever want him to be in a position where he wasn’t happy and he wasn’t happy. The only thing I wish was different was that I had been given a heads up because it took me by surprise.”
There is no doubt that things could have been handled differently, but the focus now has to be on the future.
The Lakers have championship aspirations and Johnson will be cheering them along throughout the season. It is great to see the friendship between Buss and Johnson hasn’t been compromised by this crazy situation and the two can still be close moving forward.