LeBron James labelled Magic Johnson's abrupt resignation "weird" as the Los Angeles Lakers superstar finally broke his silence.

Former Lakers president Johnson called an impromptu news conference before the team's final game of the season and announced he was stepping down last month.

Johnson cited the fact he could not be himself in his current position.

James – who left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Lakers at the start of the season – discussed Johnson's sudden exit on Saturday.

"It was just weird for [Johnson] to just be like… 'Nah, I'm out of here'," James said on his HBO show "The Shop".

"And not even have [a heads-up] like: 'Hey, Bron… kiss my a**. I'm out of here'. I would have been okay with that. Like: 'Hey, Bron, it's Magic. kiss my a**; I'm gone'. It wasn't even that."

It was long rumoured James was unaware this was going to happen and his comments on "The Shop" confirm that.

"What do you mean [stepped down]?", James recalled telling business partner Randy Mims when he told him of the news. "Like, from out of his car? I'm like: 'Man, get the f*** out of my face. You're bulls******* me'."

It was a tumultuous season for the Lakers, who parted with head coach Luke Walton after missing the playoffs again.

The Lakers appear on the brink of hiring James' former coach with the Cavaliers Tyronn Lue, according to multiple reports.

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are at the top of the NBA – for jersey sales.

Lakers superstar James boasts the most popular jersey on the league's merchandise list and Los Angeles were the highest selling team, according to NBA Store sales.

Stephen Curry and reigning champions the Golden State Warriors fell into second in both categories after topping the charts last term and spending three consecutive regular seasons at number one.

The rankings are based on sales since the beginning of the 2018-19 season.

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid rounded out the top-five most popular jerseys.

Their respective teams also finished in the top-five most popular team jerseys. Boston, Philadelphia and Milwaukee all trailed Los Angeles and Golden State.

 

LeBron James does not seem upset with the Los Angeles Lakers, dismissing a report on Wednesday.

ESPN reported earlier this week the 34-year-old star's trust in the "organisation has been damaged – maybe irrevocably".

James, however, denied the report on his Instagram story on Wednesday. He was working out and watching ESPN's 'First Take' in the video.

"That. Is. Not. True," James said. "It's not true at all. I'm actually at the Lakers facility right now."

Magic Johnson shockingly stepped down from his position as the Lakers president of basketball operations before the team's final game of the season at an impromptu news conference. James was reportedly "stunned" by Johnson's decision.

"I had more fun on the other side than on this side," Johnson said at the news conference. "Because now, tomorrow, I would have to affect somebody's life. And I've thought about that. That's not fun for me. That's not who I am… I want to go back to having fun. I want to go back to who I was before taking on this job."

The Lakers later parted ways with coach Luke Walton, who was hired by the Sacramento Kings one day later.

The Lakers entered the season with high expectations after James left the Cleveland Cavaliers and signed a four-year, $153.3million contract with the team last offseason. Los Angeles opened with a 20-14 record before James suffered a strained groin on December 25. He missed the next 17 games and the team never recovered.

James, who had reached eight straight NBA Finals, was eventually shut down in late March.

James finished his first season in Los Angeles averaging 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 55 appearances.

The Lakers have reportedly interviewed Tyronn Lue, Jason Kidd and Monty Williams, among others, to replace Walton.

Luke Walton has left his role as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The team announced in a statement on Friday they had "mutually agreed to part ways" with the third-year coach, capping a tumultuous week in Los Angeles.

Walton's departure comes three days after team president Magic Johnson stepped down from his role with the Lakers. He alluded to wanting to fire Walton but indicated he did not want to do so because owner Jeanie Buss supported him as the head coach.

There were also rumours that LeBron James, who signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract with Los Angeles this offseason — did not get along with Walton and wanted a new head coach.

"We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years," general manager Rob Pelinka said in a statement. “We wish Luke and his family the best of luck moving forward.”

Walton went 98-148 in his three years in the job.

The Lakers won more games in each year he was at the helm, but his late game-management came into question at times toward the end of his tenure. 

"I want to thank Jeanie Buss and the Buss family for giving me the opportunity to coach the Lakers," Walton said in a statement. "This franchise and the city will always be special to me and my family."

Tyronn Lue has been touted as a candidate to replace Walton in recent months, while former New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams is also expected to be a candidate.

Lue was the head coach for the Cavaliers over the last three seasons when James was in Cleveland, including in 2016, when the Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors to the NBA title. 

The Lakers finished this season 37-45 and have failed to reach the playoffs over the last six seasons. They have not finished better than 10th in the conference in that time.

Dwyane Wade brought the curtain down on his time in the NBA on Wednesday, ending a glittering career that began in 2003 - when LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh all entered the league too.

Wade made a triple-double in his final game with the Miami Heat, who selected the guard with the fifth overall pick 16 years ago.

James went first overall that year to the Cleveland Cavaliers and after Darko Milicic landed with the Detroit Pistons, the Denver Nuggets took Anthony and the Toronto Raptors drafted Bosh before Wade came off the board.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at how James, Anthony, Bosh and Wade have fared since they entered the league.



LeBron James: 2003-present (Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers)

James has certainly lived up to the incredible hype that surrounded him in 2003, having won three titles and been named MVP on four occasions. 

He has the fourth-most points of all time (32,543), having recently moved above Michael Jordan on that list, and the 34-year-old is the only one of this quartet to have made over 10,000 field goals (11,838) and more than 50 per cent of his attempts (50.4 per cent).

However, he is the worst of the four from the free-throw line (73.6 per cent) and both Anthony (1,818) and Bosh (1,927) have more offensive rebounds than James' 1443, though the latter has 7,437 defensive boards - way more than the others.

 

Carmelo Anthony: 2003-present (Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets)

Currently without a team after a disastrous short spell with the Rockets at the start of this season, Anthony trails only James among the four in regular-season games played.

He has 10 All-Star appearances to his name and was the NBA scoring champion in 2013, but he is the only one of the quartet yet to win a championship ring.

Anthony leads the way when it comes to making attempts from beyond the arc (34.7 per cent), with Wade's three-point shooting percentage beneath 30 per cent (29.3).

However, the former Knicks star has the worst overall field-goal percentage of the quartet (44.9 per cent) and averages fewer assists, steals and blocks when compared to Wade, who finished his career averaging only two points fewer per game than Anthony.

Chris Bosh 2003-2017 (Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat)

Bosh was the first of the four to retire, the two-time NBA champion and 11-time All Star calling it a day in 2017, having won two rings alongside James and Wade in Miami.

Although he has not featured in the NBA since 2016, he has still managed more offensive rebounds (1,927) than any of the other three and has the most blocks (932).

While James (27.2), Anthony (24) and Wade (22) have all averaged more than 20 points per game and made over 1,000 appearances each, Bosh retired with a career points-per-game average of 19.2 and featured in just 893 regular-season matches.



Dwyane Wade 2003-2019 (Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers)

Among these four, only James (15) has appeared in more All-Star Games than Wade (13), and he was the first of the quartet to win a title too when he was named Finals MVP in Miami's 2006 success.

Wade averaged fewer minutes per game (33.9) than James (38.6), Anthony and Bosh (both 35.8), which perhaps explains why he trails his peers in a number of categories.

The other three have all made over 30 per cent of the three-point shots they have taken, yet Wade (29.3 per cent) failed to reach that figure. He also had the fewest rebounds (4,933), with James leading the way in that category (8,880).

Dwyane Wade says he can retire a happy man and expressed his gratitude to the rest of the 'Banana Boat crew' for being courtside at the Miami Heat legend's swansong on Wednesday.

The three-time NBA champion ended his illustrious career with a triple double of 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 113-94 defeat to the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.

LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony were there to witness Wade's last hurrah.

Wade felt it was a fitting that his close friends were reunited for his last NBA appearance.

"Obviously, it means a lot [to have them here]," Wade said. "They know that I will always be there for them, especially in a moment like this.

"No matter what I'm doing, I will be there for their last game. It was cool to see those guys over there. I'm glad they came, but at the same time I wish they weren't here because the whole time they kept telling me to shoot, shoot, shoot.

"But it was great. We've got a brotherhood. Those are my brothers."

Wade added: "For me I'm happy with this season. Unfortunately for the organisation, our team, we weren't in position to make the playoffs, but I'm happy to say I completed it.

"I almost messed it up when I fell on the scorer's table. But it's been great. I'm thankful for it and I can retire and be happy about my career, my body of work and everything I've been able to accomplish."

LeBron James and other stars were in the crowd for Dwyane Wade's final NBA game on Wednesday.

In Wade's finale after a glittering 16-year career, his best friends — James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul — were courtside for the Miami Heat's matchup against the Brooklyn Nets.

The trio travelled to Brooklyn to see Wade off one last time midweek.

James played with Wade in two stints — including the 2010-2014 seasons in Miami, winning two NBA championships together — and the Los Angeles Lakers superstar said he could not miss the farewell.

"We all started this journey together — obviously CP [Paul] came into the league a couple years after us — but we have a brotherhood that's so much more than basketball," James said.

"CP played last night, we [the Lakers] had our last regular-season game last night and Melo [Anthony] is right here in New York so we made the plan, made the decision to come up here.

"Listen, we couldn't miss D-Wade's last game. This is the last time he's going to be on an NBA floor wearing that Miami Heat uniform, that number three. So we're happy to be here supporting him."

James added: "He's given so much to this game. [He's] one of the best players we've ever seen in this game from as soon as he came out of Marquette. It's an honour for me to be alongside him for four years and to also be his brother for the last 16 years of my career."

Wade, a 13 All-Star, is averaging 14.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

Miami – who were eliminated from the postseason race despite Tuesday's win over the Philadelphia 76ers – entered Wednesday with a 39-42 record, tied with the Charlotte Hornets for ninth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Lonzo Ball enjoyed playing with Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, describing it as a "dream come true".

James arrived from the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2018-19 season and averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists during his debut campaign in Los Angeles.

The three-time NBA champion, however, was unable to end the Lakers' playoff drought, with the 34-year-old missing the postseason for the first time since 2005.

Lakers guard Ball was asked about sharing the court with James during a news conference on Wednesday.

"It was a dream come true for me," Ball said. "Watching him my whole life, it was everything I thought it would be.

"He's not only a great basketball player but a great person. I looked at him like a big brother."

Los Angeles began the season with a 20-14 record before James suffered a strained groin on Christmas Day.

James missed the next 17 games and the team never recovered. He was eventually shut down in late March.

The Lakers also dealt with injuries to key role players, including Ball – who sprained his ankle in late January and never returned to the court.

"Obviously it's been a long process," Ball added. "It's finally starting to show some great progress, coming along. Hopefully just a few more weeks and then I can go out there."

Lakers president Magic Johnson stunningly announced he was resigning from his position on Tuesday before the team's final game of the season.

"It shocked me, like it did the rest of the world," Ball said. "It's what's best for him. I wish him the best. He drafted me, and this is better for his life. This is what he wants to do, and I'm behind him 100 per cent."

Ball finished the season averaging 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 47 appearances. He shot 40.6 per cent from the field and 32.9 per cent from three-point range.

The Lakers originally selected Ball out of UCLA with the second pick in the 2017 draft.

LeBron James believes Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton did the best job he could after the team missed the NBA playoffs.

Injuries to the likes of James, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram saw the Lakers' season unravel as their playoff drought continued – a run dating back to 2012-13.

The Lakers are widely expected to dismiss Walton at the conclusion of the regular season, but superstar James – who arrived from the Cleveland Cavaliers at the start of the campaign – praised the third-year coach.

"[You have to] control what you can control, and you've got to play the hand you're dealt," James told Spectrum Sportsnet. "I think [Walton] played the hand as well as he could."

The Lakers began the season with a 20-14 record before James suffered a strained groin on Christmas Day. He missed the next 17 games and the team never recovered.

With playoffs out of the equation, Los Angeles eventually shut down James for the remainder of the season in March.

"Nobody expects for injuries to happen the way they did with our franchise this year. ... I'm not talking two or three games here, everyone's back in the line-up," James said.

"We're talking 15, 20, 25 games. I saw something the other day where myself, B.I. [Ingram], Zo [Ball] and Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] only played 23 games together this year. 15-8. We had a defensive rating of fourth in the NBA, and we were like seventh in offense when we played together in 23 games.

"As good as that is, it's not enough for Luke to even be able to know what he has on a consistent basis, when you don't have a consistent roster every single night throughout a full season."

The Lakers were officially eliminated from playoff contention last month, which will snap James' streak of eight consecutive Finals appearances. He last missed the postseason in 2005.

James will finish the season averaging 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists.

Jason Kidd, Rick Carlisle and Tyronn Lue have all been linked to the Lakers' coaching job if Walton is dismissed. The Lakers boss, however, believes he will return in 2019-20.

 

Steve Kerr said he is disappointed for LeBron James after the Los Angeles Lakers missed out on the NBA playoffs, although he praised coach Luke Walton for his handling of a tough season.

The Lakers have not made the postseason since 2012-13 but were hopeful that would change after signing James to a four-year contract last year.

However, Los Angeles' hopes were ended early and they are sitting 11th in the Western Conference - with a 35-43 record - heading into Thursday's game against defending champions the Golden State Warriors.

This season marks only the third time in James' 16-season career that the four-time MVP has missed the playoffs and Warriors coach Kerr believes it would have been better for the league had the Lakers and their star man made it.

"We got so used to playing [James] in Cleveland," Kerr told reporters. "When a star player changes uniforms, it always takes them a while to get used to it.

"I'm disappointed for him and for the Lakers. I want everybody to be healthy every year. It's better for the league, it's better for all the people involved."

The Lakers dealt with several setbacks this season as much of their roster was injured at some point during the campaign.

James (groin), Brandon Ingram (shoulder), Lonzo Ball (ankle) and Josh Hart (knee) have all been shut down early, while co-owner Jeanie Buss says the Lakers had their entire squad available to play in just five games all season.

Kerr is not concerned about the future of the Lakers and believes Walton, his former assistant, has done a good job of keeping the team together. 

"Luke is one of my best friends and it's been a tough season to try to navigate." Kerr added. "I feel bad for everyone involved.

"He's holding up fine. Luke is born for this job, he really is; not only his basketball mind, which is top notch, but the guy has as good a feel for the game as anybody I've ever been around. His temperament is perfect for this job, for this league.

"There's just so many ups and downs that you have to be relatively even keeled in this position, otherwise you're just going to wear yourself out.

"So I think Luke's done a great job keeping poise and keeping his team playing."

LeBron James plans to help the Los Angeles Lakers recruit free agents.

Los Angeles will have max salary cap space in the offseason and multiple top-level players – including Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson – could be available.

James told Bleacher Report he will "be as active" as he needs to be to help the team improve.

"That's why I came here. I came here to win. And obviously, we need to get better, as far as our personnel [goes]," he said.

"We have an opportunity to get better. And there's a lot of talent out there, and a lot of guys that can help our franchise. So, I'll be as active as I need to be for us to get better and go from there."

James signed a four-year, $153.3million contract with Los Angeles in July and they began the season with a 20-14 record. But, James missed the next 17 games after straining his groin on Christmas Day and the team never recovered.

The Lakers were officially eliminated from playoff contention in late March, which will snap James' streak of eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances. He last missed the postseason in 2005.

James said he was positive the franchise will be great in the near future.

"It [adding another star] is very critical to me and my future," James said. "Obviously, the franchise is going to live forever. But for me personally, it's very critical, because I want to compete, and I want to compete now."

The Lakers shut down James last weekend to help him fully recover from the injury. He will finish his first season in Los Angeles averaging 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 55 appearances.

"Of course, I would love to still play, but I've always listened to the ones I trust, no matter if I always agreed with them or not," James told The Athletic recently about being shut down. "They're looking out for my best interest, and that's the way it is."

The Lakers will enter their matchup against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday with a 35-43 record. They have four regular-season games remaining.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said he wanted to keep playing before being shut down as he looks forward to an "uncomfortable" offseason.

James – who has been dealing with a groin injury – was ruled out for the remainder of the 2018-19 NBA campaign by the Lakers last week.

The decision came after the Lakers were eliminated from the playoff race as their postseason drought continues.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton said James had to be convinced to sit out the season and the three-time NBA champion addressed the decision.

The Lakers announced last weekend they were shutting down the 34-year-old star, who has been dealing with a groin injury, for the rest of the season.

"Of course, I would love to still play, but I've always listened to the ones I trust, no matter if I always agreed with them or not," James told The Athletic.

"They're looking out for my best interest, and that's the way it is."

The Lakers started the season with a 20-14 record before James strained his groin on Christmas Day. He missed the next 17 games and the team never recovered.

With the Lakers out of the playoffs, James' streak of eight consecutive Finals appearances has come to an end, while the 34-year-old has not missed the playoffs since 2004-05.

"I like being uncomfortable in the offseason," James said. "I like being counted out. It motivates me.

"I've had basically the same offseason training regimen the last eight years. I knew how long I wanted to rest for the season on a short timeline. I'm figuring out now how to get as much as I can out of two months of extra time for training. It requires a totally different strategy. We're looking at it in an entirely new way."

James left the Cleveland Cavaliers and signed a four-year, $153.3million contract with the Lakers in July. He will finish his first season in Los Angeles averaging 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 55 appearances.

LeBron James will skip the United States' FIBA Basketball World Cup defence in China later this year.

The early end to James' NBA season will provide the Los Angeles Lakers star more free time than he has had in nearly a decade, but he will not fill it with more basketball.

The Lakers announced on Saturday that James has been shut down for the rest of the season so he can allow a nagging groin injury to heal. Los Angeles had been eliminated from the playoff race a week earlier. 

But James does not plan to join Team USA for the World Cup, which will be played in China from August 31 to September 15, despite his fondness for new coach Gregg Popovich.

"I love everything about Pop, obviously," James told The Athletic. "But this is not a good summer for me."

That had been James' plan all along, as he is set to spend a good portion of his offseason filming 'Space Jam 2', with production set to begin in mid-June. The Athletic reported that a regulation basketball court will be built on set to allow James to continue to train during filming.

Depending on how James feels next season, though, he might still represent his country one more time. He said he has not made a decision yet about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"Yeah, that's a possibility," he said. "It depends on how I feel. I love the Olympics."

James sat out the Rio Games in 2016 but had participated in the previous three Olympics, helping USA to gold medals in 2012 and 2008 and a bronze in 2004.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James had to be persuaded to sit out the remainder of the NBA season, according to head coach Luke Walton.

The Lakers shut down James, 34, for the season on Saturday, with Los Angeles already eliminated from the playoff race.

James – the four-time MVP and three-time champion – suffered a groin injury on Christmas Day and missed 17 games as a result.

Walton, whose future is uncertain, said the Lakers had to convince James to rest.

"He wants to play," Walton said. "My understanding from the medical staff, they finally said, 'Look, it's just not worth it anymore. Let's make sure you have a healthy summer.' 

"So that's the decision that was made, and we'll move forward without him on the floor for the final six."​

Walton added: "Well, I think that goes back to him wanting to compete. Even though it's over, he wants to be out there playing with his guys.

"Eventually, as that time goes on and on, it's easier to tell someone like that, 'Let's take care of your health right now.' So that's kind of how the decision came."

James finished his first season in Los Angeles averaging 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 55 games. He is tied for fifth in the NBA in points per game and third in assists.

The Lakers struggled with James off the court and will miss the playoffs for a franchise-record sixth successive year.

It snapped James' personal postseason streak of 13 consecutive appearances and eight straight NBA Finals.

LeBron James' season is over after the Los Angeles Lakers announced the four-time MVP has been shut down for the final six games so he can recover from injury.

James suffered a groin injury in the Lakers' Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors and missed Los Angeles' next 17 games. The team went 6-11 in his absence and dropped out of the playoff spots.

Los Angeles never recovered and were officially eliminated from playoff contention on March 23.

“After consulting with our team doctors and medical staff, we have decided to hold LeBron out of games for the remainder of the season," team president Magic Johnson said in a statement.

"This decision will allow his groin to fully heal, and is best for the future success of both LeBron and the Lakers."

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