LeBron James is one to tell it how it really is. He expressed disbelief and a sense of betrayal in the days after Magic Johnson shocked the basketball world with his abrupt decision to step down as Lakers president of basketball operations on his HBO series The Shop.
“I came here to be a part of the Lakers organization, having a conversation with Magic and really kind of breaking it down and saying how we was gonna make this Showtime again, and I wanted to be part of that process,” LeBron said. The show, featuring LeBron sitting in a barbershop chair and talking informally, aired Saturday but was taped April 11 in the aftermath of Johnson’s April 9th decision.
James said he had met with Johnson a few days before his April 9 decision to leave his advisory post to the organization. He had no clue something out of the ordinary was about to happen. James said friend Randy Mims told him while he was stretching before a game, and had to check his phone to confirm.
This past season was tumultuous for the Lakers, who suffered an onslaught of injuries throughout the year. James played a career-low 55 games after sustaining a groin injury on Christmas Day.
The Lakers missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year, and it marked the first time since 2005 that James didn’t reach the postseason. The messy season finished with the organization firing parting ways with head coach Luke Walton.
Even with all of that, James still had faith that Magic would turn things around. Now, its a wait and see scenario for James as he enters year two of his four-year contract.