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Breaking News: Magic Johnson steps down from Lakers position

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This was not the news anyone was expecting.

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In shocking news, Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has stepped down from his role of President of Basketball Operations of the Los Angeles Lakers. The move took everyone by surprise.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Johnson’s move is in large part because of an inability to fully commit to the rigors of the position.

Furthermore, the difficult role seems to have taken some of his love of the game. As a player, Johnson was known for the joy he exhibited on the court, and the smile he always wore when playing the game.

Johnson took over the position in February of 2017. Despite signing LeBron James over the summer, Johnson has been widely criticized this year for a series of moves. Those moves included letting Brook Lopez and Julius Randle go, spending the money from those players on Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, and Michael Beasley, and trading promising young center Ivica Zubac for Mike Muscala.

Only time will tell what this means for current Lakers coach and former Golden State Warriors assistant Luke Walton. Walton was hired by team president Jeanie Buss before Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka took over. While Buss has been openly supportive of Walton, rumors had swirled of disconnect between Johnson and his coach, and it was reported that Walton would be fired at the conclusion of the season.

The Lakers are now in an interesting spot, as they look to build around James (who is under contract for three more years), but need to find a new president of basketball operations first.