Magic Johnson to leave ESPN because of 'other commitments'

Harry How

The former Los Angeles Laker and current Dodgers owner announced Thursday he would no longer work for ESPN.

NBA analyst Magic Johnson announced Thursday he'd be leaving ESPN to focus on "other commitments," the television network confirmed. Accompanying a statement from ESPN executive vice president of production John Wildhack, the former Los Angeles Lakers star explained his decision:

"I love ESPN," Johnson said. "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."

In Wildhack's own statement, he wished Johnson well and said ESPN is still determining roles for its NBA coverage during the 2013-14 season. On Tuesday, the network announced that longtime NBA coach Doug Collins would join the NBA Countdown team. Along with Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, Johnson was expected to be a part of that crew.

Johnson joined ESPN before the 2008-09 season and has been a studio analyst for games on the network and ABC. He spent the seven previous years with Turner Sports.

In March of 2012, Johnson became an owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and since has been active in his role with the team.

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