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Johnson sent shockwaves through the Lakers franchise Tuesday night when, in a teary-eyed announcement before the team's season finale, he announced his "difficult decision". James played just 55 games during his first season in L.A. because of a long-term groin injury, and he was shut down in late March to avoid re-aggravation.

Griffin's candidacy starts and ends with this: his familiarity and comfort in the pressure cooker environment of LeBron James.

"I'm told Kyrie Irving will grant the Lakers an interview this offseason, this summer", Smith said on his radio show. "Her and I have such an incredible relationship and I think that she gave full power to do what I wanted to do ..." The team has not made the playoffs since 2013.

Since making his National Basketball Association debut in 1979, Johnson has been affiliated with the Lakers as a player, coach and minority owner, in addition to his run as president. They opened with a 20-14 record, but James suffered a strained groin on December 25.

There is no greater Los Angeles Laker than Earvin Johnson.

Johnson, an NBA Hall of Famer, became a much maligned figure in New Orleans thanks to the trade discussions surrounding Pelicans star player Anthony Davis.

Johnson remained publicly supportive of Walton, but Magic also was widely thought to agree with Walton's detractors who aren't impressed by the former Lakers forward's offensive game planning and rotations.

Watching Brooklyn Nets All-Star D'Angelo Russell and New Orleans Pelicans big man Julius Randle have career years in their new surroundings reportedly led to Johnson's lack of faith. Johnson also pointedly refused to say whether Pelinka should remain as the Lakers' general manager, saying the decision rested exclusively with Buss, whom he repeatedly called "my sister". I think that, um, she gave me full power to do what I wanted to do.


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