Today it was announced that Magic Johnson would be leaving ESPN to fully focus on his other business endeavors. Then reports came out that Magic left because of his issues with ESPN/Grantland mainstay Bill Simmons.
Basically stating that ESPN/ABC decided to hand the power of NBA Countdown over to Simmons, who then decided that Michael Wilbon would have a diminished role. This didn't sit well with the usually affable Johnson, and it caused him to leave the program.
Magic apparently was not at all happy when ESPN told his buddy Michael Wilbon that his role on NBA Countdown would be diminished. He was "booted," according to one source. Another ESPN insider also said that Magic was "privately seething over the Wilbon thing and in general did not like that Simmons held all the power and influence." Magic didn't necessarily need the power, our sources explained; he just didn't feel like kowtowing to Simmons when he's, well, Magic Johnson.
"The bottom line is they turned that show over to Simmons," said our source. "That's why Doug Collins got hired and why Wilbon was out."
The Sports Guy heard about these reports and responded on Twitter, and says this is just a case of someone citing unfounded sources.
My first experience today with someone writing a "sources" report about me that's not true. Part amusing, part horrifying.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) October 10, 2013