He returned to the Lakers in an executive role in February 2017, replacing Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss in the front office. There were critics like this: „Since taking over as president of the Lakers, Magic Johnson never fully committed to the job. Often he was traveling and away from the team. His office hours were limited. He didn’t do a lot of scouting.”( Adrian Wojnarowski). The Lakers haven’t tangibly improved under his leadership. On Tuesday, Magic Johnson was remarkably clear in explaining himself. “I was happier when I wasn’t the president. (…) I like to be free,” he said.
Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and decided he was going to beat it. And he did. He likes to do the same in all directions in his life.” I’m going back to that beautiful life. I’m looking forward to it,” he said. During themeeting with media, Johnson talked about his decision to step down, the Lakers’ quest to add a second superstar this summer, his relationship with team owner Jeanie Buss and the fact of returning to a role as a basketball ambassador.