"I think that with [team owner Jeanie Buss] and I, I want to always preserve our relationship," Johnson said. "And I think I had more fun when I was able to be the big brother and ambassador."
Johnson said his decision wasn't about Lakers head coach Luke Walton's job status. The former Lakers star said he will "return to community work and reaching out to players around the league to help in their development."
Johnson added that Buss wasn't aware of his choice to leave the organization.
"Jeanie doesn't know I'm standing here," Johnson said. "I was happier when I wasn't president [of the [Lakers].
BREAKING: Magic Johnson has stepped down as Lakers' President of Basketball Operations. pic.twitter.com/yrHkguOO02— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 10, 2019
"Somebody's going to have to tell my boss because I knew I couldn't be face-to-face and tell [Buss]."
The Hall of Fame player joined the Lakers in an executive role in February 2017, replacing Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss in the team's front office. Sources told ESPN that Johnson never fully committed to his role with the franchise and frequently was away from the team.
The Lakers conclude their regular season with a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.