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Magic Johnson Blames Resignation On Lakers' GM's 'Backstabbing'

Magic Johnson shocked NBA fans last month when he announced that he was resigning from his position as the president of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Magic Johnson says Lakers GM was 'backstabbing', Luke Walton firing was the final straw | First Take

Magic Johnson explains that he wanted to fire Luke Walton, but Los Angeles Lakers executive Tim Harris wanted to retain him and identifies Lakers GM Rob Pelinka as the "backstabber." #FirstTake ✔ Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: ✔ Subscribe to ESPN FC on YouTube: ✔ Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: ✔ Watch ESPN on YouTube TV: Exclusive interviews with Rachel Nichols Stephen A.

Johnson, who's been in the business of basketball for over 40 years recently sat down for an exclusive interview on ESPN's "First Take" to talk about his shocking resignation. He discussed a meeting that he had with Lakers owner Jeannie Buss.

"The straw that broke the camel's back was I wanted to fire Luke Walton, and we had max [maximum] three meetings. I showed her the things he did well and the things he didn't do well. And I said listen, 'We gotta get a better coach,'" Johnson said.

Before Johnson went into full detail regarding his resignation he thanked Buss, for the opportunity to be the president of the team.

He explained that when he first sat down and spoke with Buss regarding the position, he told her that he couldn't give up all of his businesses because he makes more money as an entrepreneur than being the president of the Lakers. Johnson said that he also asked her if she was okay with him being in and out due to travel for his business ventures and if he would have the power to make decisions, and Buss obliged.

Apparently, things changed when it came time to actually fire Walton, which was the aforementioned "straw that broke the camel's back." Johnson said that Tim Harris, senior vice president of business operations for the Lakers went back and forth regarding the firing of Walton.

"Tim [Harris] wanted me. He wanted to keep him because he was friends with Luke [Walton]. Luke's a great guy. When I looked up and said that I only really answer to Jeanie Buss, and now I got Tim involved. I said, 'It's time for me to go.' I got things happening that was said behind my back. I don't have the power that I thought I had to make the decisions, and I told them when it's not fun for me, when I think that I don't have the decision-making power that I thought I had, then I gotta step aside."

Johnson also claimed that the Laker's general manager, Rob Pelinka had started talking about him behind his back regarding the basketball star not being in the office enough, which got back to Johnson via friends.

Watch the interview above.

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter.