Like the rest of the basketball world, LeBron James was surprised when Magic Johnson left his position as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers last month.
James opened the news of Johnson's decision, which occurred on April 9, shortly before the end of the team's season against Portland, on his HBO show "The Shop," which aired on Saturday night. James said he received the news from his old friend Randy Mims as he stretched for the game, and did not believe it until he checked his phone.
"Man, take my paw off my face. You, bulls, "James said of his initial reaction.
"Personally for me," James added on the show, "I came here to be part of the Lakers' organization talking to Magic, so it was weird for him to say," No, I'm out of here. "And I do not even have any answer "Hey, Bron, kiss my bad, I'm gone".
James met with Johnson at the latter's home on July 1 last summer, minutes after the free agency negotiation period began. Not long after, he promised to join the Lakers.
ESPN reported that James and his agent, Rich Paul, had met with Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka a few days before Johnson retired, but James said he received no indication of the next resignation.
The Lakers guard, Lonzo Ball, said he heard the news through James, who entered the locker room to tell his teammates after learning.
"I was like," That's crazy, "said Ball when he found out.