The Man with the Magic: Johnson Steps Down In LA

Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo


Video Courtesy of ESPN

LOS ANGELES “Once upon a time . . .” “In the beginning was . . .” That’s the way it always starts off. Every story, gospel, history, chronicle, myth, legend, folktale, or old wives’ tale blues riff begins with “Woke up this mornin’. . . .”- Steven Tyler

The last 24 hours in the NBA there have been many chapters closing in more ways than one. From L.A to Dallas to Miami staples and icons have penned their last words and ushered in a new era.

As the old saying goes, ‘family and business often don’t mix well.’ For Earvin “Magic” Johnson that seemed to be the case Tuesday with his abrupt announcement, he was stepping down as President of Basketball Operations for his beloved Los Angeles Lakers.

As much as Magic will go down as one of the best franchise players and ambassadors for the Lakers his role as an NBA executive will not bare the same success. It has been clear that since his appointment the franchise has struggled to regain momentum and magic it once had. Quite frankly the Lakers have seen brighter days. While this is not all on Magic this final disappearing act was one that was much needed for the betterment of the program and for the betterment of Magic.

Regardless of the reasons surrounding his departure, it is evident that the marriage of one of the Lakers most iconic figures in the role of exec was just not meant to be and that’s ok. When it becomes a have to instead of want to its only a matter of time before things slowly start to fall apart. Sometimes it can be mended but most of the time it just can’t.

Here are the bits and pieces that say it all from Johnson Tuesday evening 45-minute unprecedented adieu:

“So today I’m going to step down as the president. Her(Buss) and I have such an amazing relationship. She gave me full power to do what I wanted to do. But I think, with her and I, I want to always preserve our relationship. I think I had more fun when I was able to be the big brother and ambassador to everybody. I thought about Dwyane Wade retiring tomorrow and I can’t even tweet it out or be there.”

“Now with the fines and the tampering and the this and the that, I can’t help young men who want me to help them,” he said. “Or I can’t tweet out. Like Russell Westbrook, that was a great feat the other day. I couldn’t even tweet it out to say. If I had did that, everyone would have said, ‘He’s tampering.’ I don’t like that. I like to be free.”

“I’m free, my love.”

Magic wasn’t happy and in turn, the very thing he lived and breathed for has paid the price. I think the best thing the Magic did was part ways and return to being Magic outside of the suit and tie. By dissolving this partnership will be the best option in the long run and may even be the very thing that resurrects the program from the ashes. Magic can do more stepping down and returning to the way he was than if he remained up in the high rise trying to be something he’s not.

It may have not been the exit that most imagined or expected but only Magic could have executed his final act in this fashion. When it was all said and done there will still be bits and pieces to mend together but it was good to see a glimpse of the old Magic light up amidst a tough choice.

You’re free once again Magic and so are the Lakers!

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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a Senior Editor and writer for Main Event Sports. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist, NFL Network content writer, and Brown University, graduate. She loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at Follow her  on Twitter @ Misskyus2011

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