Adam Silver Found out About Magic Johnson Resignation After Someone Texted Him

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IApril 12, 2019

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during the NBA All-Star festivities, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. The 68th All-Star game will be played Sunday. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

There seems to have been only one person aware of Magic Johnson's decision to resign as Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations prior to him announcing it to the world April 9.

That person was Magic Johnson.

"Somebody texted me," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said when describing how he found out about Johnson leaving his post, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, "and said turn on NBA TV."

During his impromptu press conference, the 59-year-old Hall of Famer shocked many by admitting that not even Lakers CEO and co-owner Jeanie Buss knew he was going to address reporters and step down.

Johnson served as president of basketball operations in L.A. beginning in Feb. 2017.

Among reasons Johnson cited was his displeasure with not being able to support players on other teams, and Silver has had to discipline Johnson in the past for doing exactly that. 

In Feb. 2018, Johnson was fined $50,000 for praising Milwaukee Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo in an ESPN interview. A week later, Silver appeared on ESPN's The Jump where he explained the situation to Rachel Nichols

"Context is everything, and there had been a prior issue with the Lakers early this season. And the message to not just Magic but all the executives in the league is: Stop talking about players on other teams. ... We love having all these legends involved in the game. But the other teams seem to able to follow those rules, and this is, don't talk about players on other teams."

Johnson was caught up in another tampering incident this season when Philadelphia 76ers All-Star point guard Ben Simmons requested through Lakers representatives to speak to Johnson personally for advice on his game.

The NBA investigated the matter and concluded Johnson had not tampered with Simmons, per a statement.

However, the situation irked Johnson. He specifically addressed it while announcing his resignation (h/t PhillyVoice): 

"When Ben Simmons called and we went through the proper channels, and they made me look like the bad guy in that situation, but I didn't do anything wrong, but do everything right. I was thinking about all those times, all guys who want me to mentor them or be a part of their lives, and I can't even do that. I have more fun on the other side."

Johnson is now free to chat with whomever he pleases without Silver needing to know a thing.

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