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Video: Magic Johnson leaves Lakers-Sixers game early due to blowout

Magic Johnson

Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson was on hand for Sunday’s blockbuster match-up against the Philadelphia 76ers. Things would not go the Lakers’ way, ceding 143 points, their season-worst for games that ended in regulation. With the writing on the wall with just over three minutes left, Magic decided to hit the exits, even having to skirt around new acquisition Mike Muscala to find his way out of the arena.

With the loss, the Lakers found themselves at 28-28 on the season, 2.5 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Failing to make the postseason would mean LeBron James will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 season, his second in the league.

Johnson has been the head architect of the Lakers’ revival over the last year, recently grabbing headlines as he attempted to negotiate with New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps about acquiring All-Star Anthony Davis. The trade negotiations quickly turned public, and with the Pelicans not budging on their asking price in return for Davis, Johnson walked away from the Trade Deadline with acquisitions of Muscala and Reggie Bullock to attempt to help push his team into playoff contention.

This likely isn’t the last of Johnson being the public face of the Lakers ahead of the highly sought-after free-agent class that is to hit the market this summer, headlined by Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant, both of whom have previously been linked to Los Angeles.