The Magic Johnson news cycle went for another whirlwind on Monday after the former Los Angeles Lakers president went on ESPN’s “First Take” and spewed out his grievances about the job. He accused general manager Rob Pelinka of backstabbing him, complained about too many voices being involved in the decision-making process and defended trading Ivica Zubac to the Los Angeles Clippers.
And apparently, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss was unaware of any of it. According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Buss spoke to Johnson for hours on the phone following his surprise resignation and also went to dinner with him, asking if “there were any issues with Pelinka or anyone else in the organization.”
Johnson, according to Shelburne, did not reveal anything beyond his comments when he stepped down before the Lakers’ final regular season game.
Then, on Monday, he let it all out.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 20, 2019
“I am glad I was able to share my truth,” Johnson tweeted afterwards.
This is the second time that Johnson has left Buss in the dark before making a major announcement, and despite the fact that they remain friends, one would imagine this does not make Buss very happy.
If Magic Johnson knew he couldn’t give 100 percent of himself to the job and Jeanie Buss knew that, shame on him for taking the job and shame on her for offering him the job. pic.twitter.com/pbS20GI9rQ
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 20, 2019
The Lakers have been more or less a laughingstock this entire calendar year, missing the postseason after signing LeBron James, Johnson stepping down abruptly and questions surrounding the hierarchy of management.
Claiming the fourth pick in the NBA draft and hiring Frank Vogel as the new head coach may have generated some optimism in Laker Land, but Johnson’s comments erased that and added more fuel to an already-burning fire.
What’s more, Johnson decided to air his grievances on the same day that Vogel was introduced as the new coach — as if blindsiding Buss wasn’t enough.
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