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LeBron James, Magic Johnson Might Not Be On Good Terms

LeBron James on the court for the Lakers.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 21: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on against the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter of the game at Little Caesars Arena on November 21, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

As the president of basketball operations, former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson helped recruit LeBron James in 2018. However, much has changed since then.

Johnson suddenly stepped down near the end of James' first season with the Lakers, an underwhelming campaign that saw them miss the playoffs at 37-45. While James steered them to an NBA championship in 2020, they've fallen into disarray this season.

On a recent episode of his podcast (h/t Brad Sullivan of Lakers Daily), ESPN Insider Brian Windhorst said the relationship between the two Lakers legends may not be particularly strong at the moment.

“I also think it’s interesting to point out that I’m not so sure that LeBron and Magic are on the greatest of terms right now,” Windhorst said. “LeBron was very upset that Magic pulled the ripcord after the first year and didn’t even tell him, just did it.

“There’s scar tissue there, and earlier this year, when Magic criticized the Lakers, and rightly so — it wasn’t hard to criticize the Lakers — and LeBron was asked about it, LeBron declined to talk about it.”

Having lost seven of their last 10 games, the 27-33 Lakers have dropped to ninth in the Western Conference standings. Among their many critics has been Johnson, who said on Twitter last month that Lakers fans and owner Jeanie Buss deserve better.

This also could be much to do about nothing. Last week, Johnson posted a picture of him and James conversing during the NBA All-Star break.

"It can’t be anything but sweet when two @Lakers get together and talk hoops, business, and how to improve our community," Johnson wrote.

While Johnson holds ownership shares of MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers and WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, he's no longer a decision-maker in the Lakers front office. Even if some hard feelings linger, it shouldn't play any role in James' future.