LeBron James recalled his initial disbelief after hearing the news that Magic Johnson stepped down from the Los Angeles Lakers before their season finale.
James, who recounted the story on “The Shop,” said his business partner Randy Mims broke the news to him.
“He’s like, ‘Magic just stepped down.’ I’m like, ‘Man get … out of my face’…No one had no idea. We was like, ‘Damn. Right now?’ It was literally 70 minutes on the clock. I’m not playing but my team is still playing. And you kind of decided to do that right here. Right now. I feel like there’s a time and place for things, and I believe you knew you were going to make that decision, so why would you do that here? Why would you do that now?” said James of his disbelief.
James had met with Johnson and Rob Pelinka days earlier to discuss the future of the franchise. Johnson gave James no indication that he would leave the organization.
“He explained to me Year One is going to be tough…But I was okay with the process. At Year 16 you ain’t really supposed to be worrying about no damn process, especially for me because I’m in championship mode all the time. So it was weird for him to just be like ‘I’m out of here’ and not even have no like ‘Hey Bron, kiss my ass. I’m out of here.’ I would have been okay with that. ‘Hey Bron, it’s Magic. Kiss my ass. I’m gone.’ Not even that.”