Did anyone see this coming?
Prior to the start of the Los Angeles Lakers' season finale against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, team president Earvin "Magic" Johnson abruptly announced that he was stepping aside.
Johnson made the announcement at a 43-minute impromptu press conference at Staples Center. "I want to go back to having fun," he told the gathering of reporters.
The NBA legend cited an inability to be an ambassador of the game in his role with the Lakers and his frustration at being fined by the league for tampering. "I thought about Dwyane Wade retiring tomorrow and I can't even tweet it out or be there," Johnson said.
"I had more fun on the other side than on this side," Magic continued. "What I didn't like was the backstabbing and the whispering. I don't like that."
Johnson added that he had not informed team owner Jeannie Buss or general manager Rob Pelinka about his decision.
Johnson didn't directly tie his decision to the future of coach Luke Walton, who was widely expected to be fired by Johnson soon. But Johnson repeatedly mentioned Buss' affinity for Walton and Johnson's desire not to cause upheaval between them.
The big question is, of course, what will LeBron James say about this move by Magic? Johnson put forth a 'two summer plan' when he recruited James to come out to L.A. last summer.
"We don't know what people (free agents) are going to decide, and we can't control that. So if guys decide not to come here, it's not a failure -- we turn to next summer. It's going to be a two summer thing for the Lakers," Magic said at the time. "This summer and next summer. That’s it. If I can’t deliver I’m going to step down myself. She (Buss) won’t have to fire me, I’ll step away from it, because I can’t do this job."
Apparently, he's a year ahead of schedule.
Before the match-up against Portland, the Lakers stood at 37-44. They have not made the playoffs since 2013.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.