Magic Johnson is spilling team about the Los Angeles Lakers and he’s naming names! Deets inside…
It’s tea time!
In April, Magic Johnson shocked EVERYBODY when he abruptly stepped down as the Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations after serving in the role for nearly two years. When he first quit, he explained he made the move because he wanted to get back to enjoying life as a wealthy businessman.
Then, it was reported that some shady emails between Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka. Apparently, management was trashing Magic’s performance as president. And since he somehow was copied on all the emails, he decided he was DONE.
Now, the former Lakers player (who balled out for the team for 13 years during his career) and spilling more tea about his exit.
During today’s “First Take” episode, Magic told analyst Stephen A. Smith that general manager Rob Pelinka betrayed him during his time as Lakers president:
“If you’re going to talk betrayal, it’s only with Rob. But, again, I had to look inside myself,” Magic said. “I had been doing that for months. Because I didn’t like that Tim Harris was too involved in basketball. He’s supposed to run the Laker business, but he was trying to come over to our side. Jeanie’s gotta stop that. You gotta stop people from having those voices.”
According to Magic, Pelinka was trashing his name behind his back because he felt like Magic wasn’t working hard enough and that he wasn’t at the Lakers’ facilities enough. Not only was he talking ish to other Lakers staffers, he was also bashing him to some of his friends.
“Things got going in the right direction, and then I start hearing, you know, ‘Magic, you’re not working hard enough. Magic’s not in the office.’ So people around the Laker office was telling me Rob was saying things—Rob Pelinka—and I didn’t like those things being said behind my back, that I wasn’t in office enough and so on and on. So I start getting calls from my friends outside of basketball saying those things now were said to them outside of basketball. Now not just in the Laker office anymore, now it’s in the media and so on. … And people gotta remember something, being in this business for over 40 years, I got allies, I got friends everywhere.”
Caught! Magic said the last straw for him was when he realized he would not have a say so in firing former Lakers coach Luke Walton and hiring a new head coach.
“The straw that broke the camel’s back was I wanted to fire Luke Walton, and we had … three meetings. I showed her the things he did well and the things he didn’t do well. And I said listen, we gotta get a better coach. I like him, he’s great, former Laker, the whole thing. So, the first day, ‘Well, let’s think about it.’ Second day, ‘OK, you can fire him.’ Then the next day, ‘No, we should try to work it out.’ So when we went back and forth like that, and then she brought Tim Harris into the meeting, you know, some of the guys. And Tim, you know, wanted me—he wanted to keep him, because he was friends with Luke. Luke’s a great guy, great guy. And so when I looked up and said, ‘Wait a minute, I only really answer to Jeanie Buss.’ Now, I got Tim involved, and I said it’s time for me to go. I got things happening that was being said behind my back, I don’t have the power that I thought I had to make the decisions, and I told them, ‘When it’s not fun for me, when I think that I don’t have the decision-making power that I thought I had, then I gotta step aside.'”
From the very beginning, Magic said Jeanie Buss told him that he would have final say on all personnel decisions. Apparently, that wasn’t the case, so he dipped.
Peep his full interview below:
Zero f**** given.
Photo: Magic’s Twitter