The Los Angeles Lakers front office and, subsequently the team, are a hot flaming bag of old Kobe rap lyrics.
The Lakers brass must’ve forgotten that Magic Johnson is not only a NBA Hall of Fame point guard, he owns half of black America and has a son that stunts in stilettos. Meaning, Magic Johnson is a goddamn god in Los Angeles and still doesn’t have to pay for his own dinners, ever, and his son has shown him how to make a glorious exit only to throw shade after he’s safely home.
On Monday, Magic Johnson, aka the original LeBron James, who normally is all smiles and goodwill gave a shockingly frank interview on First Take on ESPN. Johnson, who served as the president of the Lakers and famously bounced on the organization with little to no notice, now notes that they are dysfunctional AF and straight out accused the team’s general manager, Rob Pelinka, of stabbing him in the back.
“I started to hear Magic’s not working hard enough, Magic’s not in the office,” Johnson said, identifying Pelinka as the one throwing shade, the New York Times reports.
“I didn’t like those things being said behind my back,” Johnson said, adding that several NBA agents warned him to watch out for Pelinka.
“If you’re going to talk about betrayal, it’s only with Rob,” he said. “I wasn’t having fun going to work, knowing that you want my position.
“Somebody’s got to be the leader, there’s too many voices,” he said of the Lakers front office.
The Lakers didn’t respond, at least not yet.
Johnson also confirmed long-held speculation that former Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell was traded to Brooklyn Nets after he video-snitched on Nick Young cheating on then-girlfriend Iggy Azalea.
From the Times:
Pelinka joined the Lakers in 2017, shortly after team owner Jeanie Buss essentially fired her brother, Jim, and the general manager Mitch Kupchak. Pelinka had been one of the top agents representing N.B.A. players, including Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.
Making the shift from agent to general manager would have been unthinkable in the past, but it has become increasingly common in sports as the importance of relationships between executives and a small cadre of elite players has become increasingly important. Johnson’s comments were surprising because as president of the team he was Pelinka’s boss.
For the Lakers, the shake-up in management has so far failed to pay dividends, The Lakers started the season with high hopes after acquiring LeBron James. But the team was a dismal 37-45, and Coach Luke Walton left at the end of the season.
Johnson said that things hit a head when he wanted to fire then-head coach Luke Walton and got pushback from Lakers brass who were friends with Walton. Johnson wanted a more experienced coach, possibly Tyronn Lue; the Lakers decided on Frank Vogel.
“Vogel is a good coach, but Lue is better,” Magic said Monday.
Magic noted that there were no hard feelings between him and the Lakers organization and that if the franchise was up for sale today he’d be trying to buy the team. He still wants his old team to win and the rumors can stop with the idea that LeBron would ever be traded.
“That’s not going to happen,” Magic said.
You can see part of Magic’s scorched Earth interview below: