LeBron James was stunned to learn of Magic Johnson’s decision to step down as the Los Angeles Lakers‘ president of basketball operations, a source with knowledge of James’ thinking told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne on Wednesday.
But despite Johnson’s abrupt resignation, James stands behind Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and the organization, the source told Shelburne.
The team is still assessing Johnson’s decision, but general manager Rob Pelinka will stay in his job, and, if anything, his power will grow, sources told Shelburne.
Johnson sent shockwaves through the Lakers franchise Tuesday night when, in a teary-eyed announcement before the team’s season finale, he announced his “difficult decision.”
Johnson said he had not informed Buss or Pelinka of his decision before talking to reporters. He later told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he didn’t tell Buss first because he was afraid she would have talked him out of it.
Johnson took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to thank Buss, Pelinka, coach Luke Walton and the rest of the Lakers franchise.
Thank you to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, General Manager Rob Pelinka, Coach Luke Walton, the Lakers players & the entire basketball operations staff for the tremendous opportunity to serve as the President of Basketball Operations for the @Lakers. I will always be a Laker for life.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 10, 201