LeBron James: The three words Lakers star uttered after Magic Johnson quit

Magic Johnson stunned the sports world Tuesday night by announcing he's leaving the Los Angeles Lakers. "There is no greater Los Angeles Laker than Earvin Johnson", said the statement.

Magic Johnson abruptly quit as the Los Angeles Lakers' president of basketball operations Tuesday night, citing his desire to return to the simpler life he enjoyed as a wealthy businessman and beloved former player before taking charge of this tempestuous franchise just over two years ago.

"I had more fun when I was able to the be big brother and ambassador to everybody", Johnson said.

"I've been talking to people, we've been talking about next year, and I'm sitting there saying, 'I'm not going to be here,"' Johnson said with a smile.

"Somebody's going to have to tell my boss because I knew I couldn't be face-to-face and tell her", he added in a tweet thread.

He told reporters he was stepping down in order to preserve his friendship with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, describing her as "like a sister".

According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, nobody - including Buss - saw Johnson's announcement coming, with the five-time champion telling reporters he wants to return to his role as an ambassador of the National Basketball Association - "I was happier when I wasn't the president", he said. I've got a handsome life, so I'm going to go back to that attractive life.

The news comes shortly after ESPN reported that Johnson had not spoken to head coach Luke Walton "in weeks".

Magic Johnson just wants to go back to having fun.

James and Johnson are said to have clashed over several key ideas on how to take the team forward. "This is a good day".

He joined the team in 2017, and though the Lakers didn't make the playoffs this season, they did sign LeBron James.

In the end, it was all the theater of the Lakers' disappointing season bundled into a moment only a Laker - THE Laker - could produce.

James did not look to disappointed by Johnson's decision. "He will always be not only a Lakers icon, but our family". It was widely believed Johnson was going to fire Walton following the season.

Johnson would rather be on the other side of things, helping mentor players like tennis champion Serena Williams and Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons. "I can't help young men who want me to help them", he said.