Erv Quits

What an embarrassing day for that franchise.

April 10, 2019 - 11:05 am
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Pro basketball took Monday off to allow the NCAA to have the spotlight. And then the NBA, check that the National Basketball Association, because it earned its full government last night, came back with a vengeance. Here’s a brief list of what happened:

- A send-off for Dirk in Dallas that included him going for 30 and then announcing his retirement

- Jamal Crawford becoming the oldest player to break 50 points

- Anthony Davis breaking out a “That’s All Folks” shirt for the season finale in New Orleans.

- Dwyane Wade going out in Miami and I’ll get to more of that in a second

And all of that was erased. Think about that for a moment. Two legends leave the stage on the same night, Jamal Crawford has an unreal performance, Anthony Davis goes troll-job with his clothing, and all of that might as well have never happened…because of what happened in Staples last night.

I’m talking about Alex Caruso going for 12 points, 13 assists, and 7 boards against the Blazers. Hell yes! That was a “where were you” moment. Where were you when that happened? I’ll open up the phones right now.

Where were you when the dude who’s been glossed Steve Blake’s dad was playing like Russell Westbrook?

I’ll tell you where everyone who covers the Lakers was – they were in the tunnels under Staples listening to this

What the hell was that? No, seriously, what the hell was that? I know what happened, that Magic quit as Lakers president, but seriously, what the hell was THAT? Because that wasn’t someone quitting a job, that was someone spending nearly an hour making a complete and total embarrassment of himself.  And the once proud organization that he balled out for. 

There are a dozen different ways to quit and that was pretty much the worst one. The Brian Colangelo Burner Scandal can’t believe how that went down. 

Remember that “scandal”? Remember when that was the weirdest thing ever? Well, Erv just went Secretariat on that.

And “Magic Johnson Lakers President” just went Usain Bolt on “Magic Johnson Talk Show Host” and “Magic Johnson Head Coach” in the race for worst job performance ever.  Has there ever been an executive of a professional sports franchise that handled anything worse than Erv handling quitting on the Lakers?  Has anyone, anywhere, in any walk of life, ever handling as badly as Erv handled that resignation??

I don’t have time for the entire, bizarre, weird, embarrassing, awkward hour that Erv spent puking all over himself, but here are a few highlights:

“Somebody is going to have to tell my boss, because I know she’s going to be sick. But I know I couldn’t face her face to face and tell her, even though I was just with her yesterday and we had a three-hour meeting about the direction of this great organization. So today, Rachel, I’m free my love.”

There’s a crapload of garbage right there and that’s just three sentences. He quit and he’s doing it by telling the media before telling Jeanie Buss. He didn’t to have the guts to tell her to her face, so he’s doing it this way. My man, people who ghost other people can’t believe how cowardly and lame that is. 

But more on the relationship with Jeanie in a second. Because let’s not sleep on the fact that he was saying what a great three hour meeting he had with Jeanie ON MONDAY and then quit on Tuesday. And then capping it off by telling Rachel Nichols that “I’m free, my love.”

Uh, okay. Thanks. But there’s more. Believe that, there’s a lot more:

“I love [Jeanie Buss] as a sister. So today I'm going to step down as the president. Her and I have such an amazing relationship. She gave me full power to do what I wanted to do. But I think, with her and I, I want to always preserve our relationship.”

Because nothing says love and respect and an amazing relationship like quitting without telling her. That’s your sister …she’s’ fam, she fully trusted you. And empowered you to do whatever you wanted in that capacity; handed you the freaking keys to the entire kingdom…and you don’t even have the decency, or the courage, or the professionalism to tell her to her face. And you say that you’re doing that to preserve the “amazing relationship.” What planet is this guy living on? Could dude be any MORE out of touch than he is? Any more whack than he’s acting??

He didn’t tell Jeanie, but he had to have told LeBron, right? Nope. According to reports, he met with LeBron James and Rich Paul on Saturday and none of this came up. According to media reports, LeBron James had to hear about Magic Johnson’s quitting from media reports.

Amazing. So exactly why IS this guy quitting. Here comes the real. And it’s beautiful.

“I think I had more fun when I was able to be the big brother and ambassador to everybody. I thought about Dwyane Wade retiring tomorrow and I can't even tweet it out or be there.”

I’m sorry. Come again? “I thought about Dwyane Wade retiring tomorrow and I can't even tweet it out or be there.”

Did he really just say that he quit being president of the Lakers so that he could tweet about Dwyane Wade retiring? There’s no way that’s true. That has to be a misspeak.

Let me check something else, did he really also say, “Now with the fines and the tampering and the this and the that, I can't help young men who want me to help them. Or I can't tweet out. Like Russell Westbrook, that was a great feat the other day. I couldn't even tweet it out to say, 'Hey congratulations.'”

He quit being president of the Lakers so that he could tweet congratulations to Russell Westbrook?!? What the hell is that?

Now I understand Antonio Brown more. You want to know just how addictive Twitter is? Magic Johnson quit his job for Twitter. 

That’s the headline here. Forget the Lakers and where they go, the headline is MAGIC JOHNSON QUITS ON HIS BELOVED ORGANIZATION, HIS SISTER, AND EVERYTHING IN HIS WORK LIFE THAT HE LOVES, FOR TWITTER.

And here’s another note, and you’re not going to want to hear this, Erv, but no one gives a damn about your tweets. Not Dwanyay. Not Russ. Not anyone. Magic sucks at twitter.  He’s even worse at twitter than he is at being president of the Lakers. And he was a horrible team president.

A terrible team president…. Everyone knows that. I can run down a series of hideous moves that happened on his watch: Traded D’Angelo Russell. Didn’t re-sign Julius Randle. Couldn’t even get a meeting with Paul George. Couldn’t trade for Anthony Davis.

To the extent that anything in sports is a disaster, that was a disaster. A complete and utter disaster. Dumpster fire. Trainwreck. Nuclear meltdown. It was all of that and more. And if you’re wondering why it didn’t work with Magic, you got a sense last night.

Because he didn’t want to be team president. He wants to be Twitter president. He wasn’t cut out for being a team president.

A shorter version of Magic’s presser last night would’ve been “This team president game is hard., dawg”

He’s right. It is. It requires a ton of work. A ton of scouting. Of grinding. Evaluating talent. Making hard decisions and having hard conversations. And if last night has shown us anything, Magic doesn’t want to have hard conversations. He didn’t want hard work.  He didn’t want any of it. And on many levels, this dude makes no sense at all.

So you wanted to hype Russell Westbrook, someone who plays for a rival, but you don’t want to talk to your sister, Jeanie, about why you’re leaving?

You want to mentor Ben Simmons, but you don’t want to mold an entire roster with the team you say you love?

You want to congratulate D’Angelo Russell for making the All-Star team but you don’t want to talk with Luke Walton about his future?

Look, I get it. It is a lot more fun to tweet and hang out with players from around the league, than scout and grind. It’s a lot more fun to be Magic Johnson, celebrity, than to be Magic Johnson, president of the Los Angeles Lakers, but what the hell did he think he was getting into?

His time as president was pure embarrassment. And his exit was total cowardice.

And Jeanie Buss is not without blame. Hell, everyone likes Jeanie. But hiring Erv was really dumb. And the fact of the matter is, she’s running this franchise in the ground. The Lakers have never been more embarrassing than they are right now. And it has happened under her watch. 

Erv may have done her a favor by bouncing, but she obviously should have never hired him in the first place. Magic wanted to be president of the Lakers, he just didn’t want to do the work that came with the title. He thought it would be easy. Just like he thought being a coach would be easy. Just like he thought being a talk show host would be easy.  And just like the old saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough quit….right, Erv.  When life gives you lemons….quit.  It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you quit. The man in the arena. Quit...  winners never quit. But Magic just did. And in the worst possible way. What an embarrassing day for him. And what an embarrassing day for that franchise.