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Magic Johnson will not return to ESPN, and that's a good thing

October 10, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • You will probably be seeing more of Magic Johnson at Dodger Stadium from here on out.
You will probably be seeing more of Magic Johnson at Dodger Stadium from… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

Now for some more good news. It just doesn’t stop for the Dodgers, unless possibly in the opener Friday of the National League Championship Series.

For today, though, all is well. A confident Dodgers bunch is in St. Louis with two of the best pitchers in the National League -- Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw -- set to start the first two games.

And then this news tidbit comes from ESPN: Magic Johnson will not return to the cable channel as an NBA studio analyst.

“I don't feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role,” Magic said in a statement.

No question about that. He didn’t the last two seasons, either. The first season was understandable, because he was already involved with the cable channel when his group purchased the Dodgers.

This season, however, it should already have been clear to Magic there was no way he could continue as a basketball commentator while keeping up with all his other professional and personal interests, while adding his role as part-owner of the Dodgers.

He did it anyway, and as a result, was seldom around the ballpark this season. Remember, this is a man who was already involved in running several companies, starting up his own cable channel and prepaid credit card, heavily involved in the fight against HIV, is a constant speaker and enjoys an annual one-month summer Mediterranean vacation.

And in addition to all of that was spending every weekend through June in the ESPN studio? It no longer worked, and it’s good that he’s finally recognized it.

Magic was supposed to be the face of the Dodgers’ new ownership and promised to be at Dodger Stadium every day at 8 a.m. ready to work. It’s hardly turned out that way, and Mark Walter -- the controlling owner of the team -- has quickly emerged as the true head of the team.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t a clearer and more significant role there with the Dodgers for Magic. Stan Kasten, Ned Colletti and Walter all carry important responsibilities with the team, and there’s plenty of room remaining.

Magic was supposed to be all in on his grand adventure in owning the Dodgers. Clearing his schedule of a time-consuming and unnecessary role with ESPN releases him to now give that enterprise more of his attention.

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