Luke Walton and Magic Johnson haven't spoken in weeks

Why Alex Caruso deserves a spot on the Lakers roster next season

Magic Johnson had permission from owner Jeanie Buss to fire head coach Luke Walton at the end of the Lakers tumultuous regular season, league sources told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes.

"It's hard when you love an organization like I love this organization", Johnson said as he started to cry.

"It's a hard decision", Johnson said, as he began to cry.

During their two-year tenure, Johnson and Pelinka scored a huge victory by landing LeBron James in free agency but have drawn criticism for numerous polarizing moves and the Lakers' failure to return to the playoffs, which they have not reached since 2013.

The Lakers, who have been playing without James in the lineup for weeks, lost 104-101 to Portland following Johnson' announcement.

The Lakers finished the season 37-45 and went 35-47 last season, putting the job security of Walton, the third-year coach, in jeopardy. "I want to go back to having fun and go back to being who I was before taking on this job".

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Johnson made ambivalent comments about Pelinka that led some to wonder if their relationship played a role in the decision.

Since making his National Basketball Association debut in 1979, Johnson has been affiliated with the Lakers as a player, coach and minority owner, in addition to his run as president. The Lakers slumped before the trade deadline when Johnson aggressively pursued disgruntled New Orleans superstar Anthony Davis in a trade that would have required the Lakers to give up much of their talented young core.

Walton told reporters in his pregame news conference that he was not anxious about his future.

Walton would have been replaced during the year had Johnson had his way, but Buss was reluctant to make the change until the season had concluded, according to Haynes.

"She doesn't know I'm standing here", Johnson said.

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