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Video: Magic Johnson Doesn't Regret Lakers Exit, Says It's Like He 'Never Left'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 09: Magic Johnson resigns as the Lakers' president of basketball operations prior to a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on April 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Magic Johnson remains passionate about the Los Angeles Lakers despite resigning from the organization earlier this month.

In an interview with TMZ Sports, Johnson said he doesn't regret the way in which he left the team and that he's still working to help the Lakers, just without an official title.

"It's almost like I never left," he said. "I'm still talking to them every day."

Johnson shocked everybody when he held an impromptu press conference announcing he was stepping down as the Lakers' president of basketball operations.

In the immediate aftermath of the Hall of Famer's departure, some reporters painted a picture of how he operated in Los Angeles' front office.

According to ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski, Johnson "never fully committed to the job." The Athletic's Bill Oram wrote he was "seen as an absentee executive."

Johnson's comments to TMZ Sports hit on an important point: He can be an asset for the Lakers without actually being employed by the team.

The 59-year-old is a living legend and provides a direct connection to one of the franchise's most successful eras. He helped guide Los Angeles to five NBA titles.

One could argue Johnson is the player most synonymous with the Lakers, and the fact he's willing to advocate so strongly for the team is great. When wooing free agents, he's exactly the person you want speaking about what it means to put on a purple and gold jersey.

Johnson's brief executive tenure in L.A. laid out his limitations, though, and left no doubt he wasn't equipped to handle a day-to-day role.

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