Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James didn’t believe it when he was told Magic Johnson had stepped down as president of basketball operations for the Lakers.
In his first public comments since Johnson decided to leave the Lakers in April before the season ended, James relayed the story of how he found out from Randy Mims, James’ chief of staff.
“My right hand comes to me and says, ‘Magic just stepped down,’ ” James said on HBO’s The Shop, which aired Saturday. “I’m like, ‘You mean from out of his car? Get the (expletive) out of my face.’ … He’s like, ‘Go check your phone.’ “
James, who was in the Lakers’ locker room but not playing in that night’s game, checked his phone. Indeed, Johnson held an impromptu and bizarre news conference, informing reporters of his resignation.
“No one had no idea,” James said on his show. “We were like, ‘Damn, like right now?’ It was literally 70 minutes on the clock before (the game). I’m not playing, but my team is still playing, and you kind of decide to do that right here, right now. I feel like there’s a time and place for things, and I believe that you knew that you were going to make that decision, so why would you do it here and why would you do it now?”