Yesterday (Oct. 10), NBA legend turned business mogul Earvin “Magic” Johnson has announced that he is exiting his post on ESPN effective immediately. Since 2008 Johnson has served as a basketball analyst for the sports network’s NBA Countdown program alongside the likes of Jalen Rose and Jon Barry, making his unexpected resignation raise plenty of questions.
The former Los Angeles Lakers point guard gave no upfront notice of his departure. “I love ESPN,’” Johnson said in a statement. “Unfortunately, due to the nature of my schedule and other commitments, I don’t feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role. I will always feel a strong connection to the ESPN family and I enjoyed working with them very much.”
While Magic pointed to his busy schedule as the reason for his resignation, Deadspin is reporting a couple of behind the scenes factors contributed to his sudden decision.
Michael Wilbon, who served as the de facto host and buddy to Johnson, has been replaced by Doug Collins. Additionally it has been rumored that there has been a growing rift between the Los Angeles Dodgers partial owner and co-host Bill Simmons who is a noted for co-creating the popular documentary series 30 For 30. “The bottom line is they turned that show over to Simmons,” said our source. “That’s why Doug Collins got hired and why Wilbon was out.”
Bill Simmons took to Twitter to respond calling the speculation of alleged power struggle not true. Magic has also shown support via Twitter to Simmons and crew about the future the show.
Considering Johnson is rumored to be worth over $500 million, we are sure that he will find something very constructive to do with the free time.
Peep the following pages to the Twitter responses and let us know if you will still be checking for the show in the comments section.