LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on from the bench after he was hurt against the Golden State Warriors during the second half of their NBA Basketball game at ORACLE Arena on December 25, 2018 in Oakland, California.
Johnson called an impromptu press conference Tuesday where he announced the news.
It's safe to say that Johnson had mutual respect for Ball, considering he once dubbed the 21-year-old point guard the new face of the Lakers' franchise. "This is better for his life and that's what he wants to do, and [I] support [him] 100 percent".
Johnson pointed out that he was forced to sacrifice a lot in the title and was exhausted of being punished by the NBA for speaking to other teams' players or commenting on basketball matters on social media. They opened with a 20-14 record, but James suffered a strained groin on December 25. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Los Angeles had interest in Mark Jackson, Tyronn Lue, and Monty Williams to be the team's next head coach. James was eventually shut down in late March.
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"Obviously it's been a long process", Ball said about the injury. "I wanna go back to having fun, I wanna go back to who I was before taking on this job".
Johnson offered no indication that he was on the brink of leaving the team, sources said.
"It shocked me like it did the rest of the world". But despite seeing a significant increase in wins from the previous four seasons, the Lakers did not even come close to the playoffs in his two years at the helm. I wish him the best.
Although Bryant has stated multiple times that he doesn't want to work in basketball operations, there is also the Lakers myth-making that cast him as the mastermind behind Jeanie Buss finally deciding to fire her brother Jim.