There was no warning. There were no rumors. There was nothing to indicate what was about to happen when Magic Johnson jovially stepped in front of the media early Tuesday evening in a Staples Center hallway.
He nudged me, grinned, and said, “Bill is here, we have to have a press conference.’’
Then his smile disappeared, his laughter died, and he quit.
Just like that, in a move as stunning as any trick he pulled in more than two years as Lakers president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson made himself disappear.
In the middle of his personal quest to return the Lakers to glory, with his star recruit LeBron James sitting across the hall amid the hope that more...