Magic Johnson abruptly quit as the Los Angeles Lakers' president of basketball operations Tuesday night, citing a desire to get back to the simpler life he enjoyed before taking over the franchise just over two years ago.
The Lakers were 37-44 heading into Tuesday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The season didn't go as planned after Johnson persuaded LeBron James to leave Cleveland last year. Despite James' celebrated arrival along with Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee, Los Angeles failed to overcome several major injuries, including James, and suffered a crisis of confidence when the Lakers failed to land superstar Anthony Davis in a trade.
Johnson didn't tell owner Jeanie Buss or General Manager Rob Pelinka before he stepped in front of reporters about 90 minutes before the final game of the Lakers' sixth consecutive losing season.
"I want to go back to having fun," Johnson said before fighting off tears. "I want to go back to being who I was before taking on this job. We're halfway there with LeBron coming [last summer]. I think this summer, with that other star coming in, whoever is going to bring him in, I think this team is really going to be in position to contend for a championship with the growth of the young players."
Warriors 112, Pelicans 103: DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Golden State beat host New Orleans in a game that saw guard Stephen Curry leave with a mild foot sprain. Golden State, which already had clinched the top playoff seed in the Western Conference, also played without forward Kevin Durant (illness) and guard Klay Thompson (sore knee).
Pistons 100, Grizzlies 93: Andre Drummond had 20 points and 17 rebounds and Ish Smith matched a season high with 22 points, helping host Detroit come back from a 22-point deficit to beat Memphis and cling to a spot in the playoffs. The Pistons can clinch a postseason bid by closing the regular season with a win Wednesday night at New York.
Celtics 116, Wizards 110: Bradley Beal became the first player in Washington Wizards franchise history to average at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists for a season, reaching the numbers he needed in a home loss to the playoff-bound Boston Celtics in a finale that was meaningless to both clubs. Eliminated a while ago and bound for the draft lottery, the Wizards wound up 32-50, their most losses since going 29-53 in 2012-13.
Heat 122, 76ers 99: Dwyane Wade scored 30 points in the tribute-filled final home game of his career, and Miami beat Philadelphia. Bam Adebayo scored 19, Justise Winslow scored 16 and Hassan Whiteside added 15 for the Heat, who were eliminated from playoff contention when Detroit beat Memphis. Wade's career will end Wednesday in Brooklyn, when Miami plays its regular-season finale.
Raptors 120, Timberwolves 100: Kawhi Leonard scored 20 points and Toronto closed its regular season with a win over host Minnesota. Fred VanVleet scored 16 points, and Chris Boucher had a career-high 15 points and 13 rebounds off the bench for the Raptors, who finished the regular season at 58-24. Andrew Wiggins and Gorgui Dieng each scored 16 points for the Timberwolves.