"On behalf of the entire Kings organization, I want to thank Dave for his contributions to our team and I wish him all the best".
"I think that I had more fun when I was able to be the big brother and ambassador to everybody", he continued. "I think this summer, with that other star coming in, whoever is going to bring him in, I think this team is really going to be in position to contend for a championship with the growth of the young players". I was thinking about all those times, all guys who want me to mentor them and have me be a part of their lives and I can't even do that.
Johnson spoke with the media before discussing his resignation with Buss.
James suffered a groin strain on Christmas Day and the team was unable to recover without him, falling from fourth in the Western Conference to 10th, outside of the playoff places. He missed the next 17 games and the team never recovered.
The Lakers, who have been playing without James in the lineup for weeks, lost 104-101 to Portland following Johnson' announcement.
Under Pelinka's stewardship as general manager this season, the Lakers wasted LeBron James' first season in Los Angeles (and possibly the last season of his prime) by surrounding James with ball-handlers rather than the type of shooters he was accustomed to winning with.