Magic Johnson this morning was interviewed on First Take about his unexpected departure from the Lakers. He didn’t say previously that he intended to leave and his contract was for three years with the team. Something was going on with Lakers organization and was all told today in this interview.
Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson have always gotten along pretty well and have a great personal relationship, given the fact that Magic was one of the greats in Lakers history. The highlight of Magic’s time with the Lakers was signing free agent LeBron James, he wanted to make new moves during the season but things started to turn around in the organization. Different scenes happened in his time:
Scene 1: D’Angelo Russell Out and Luke Walton Firing
D’Lo played his best season so far with the Nets taking them to the playoffs and becoming an All-Star player and Most Improved Player finalist. The reason he was traded was because of the Shaggy P situation when Russell and Young had the problem of Nick Young cheating on Iggy Azalea. Magic knew he had to get rid of him in order to boost up their team chemistry. Other than that, during the season he thought that Luke Walton was doing some things wrong with the roster and asked Jeanie to fire him but he felt that he didn’t have as much control as he was supposed to have when Jeanie started to include other people in Walton’s firing talks.
Scene 2: Anthony Davis Trade
The Lakers season before the trade deadline had all eyes on Anthony Davis asking for a trade. Every Laker fan wanted to see that duo between LeBron and AD. Former general manager Dell Demps and Magic had deep negotiations before the deadline and Magic got to the point where he added BI, Kuzma, and Lonzo in the mix and this was their turning point because these young blood took it personal. Magic told Dell to keep the trade rumors between them and Dell did the opposite, maybe to create scandal and force Magic to offer more than he could give. Again, the Lakers and New Orleans are in the same conference and NOLA wasn’t going to give their star to their competition.
Scene 3: Everyone having a voice
Scene 4: Rob Pelinka “Backstabbing” Magic
Both of these scenes were the crucial ones of why Magic left. In Magic’s decision of firing Luke Walton, Jeanie Buss included too many voices in their talks. What’s wrong with this? That nobody was supporting Magic’s decision. Everyone was telling Jeanie to not fire coach Luke and that pissed off Magic. He thought he entered this role in the organization with him having the last word with Jeanie instead of having to convince other people. Magic was not having much fun anymore with his current role and wanted to leave, and then came Rob Pelinka and I quote Mr. Johnson: “I was being told that Rob was saying behind my back that I wasn’t showing up to work and that I wasn’t doing my job well.” This right here was the main reason Magic left, he has a great relationship with Jeanie but not with the others.
All in all, Magic did say that he loves the Lakers and thanked Jeanie for the opportunity. He still thinks that this team is capable of winning a chip with big names this free agency…Tampering Alert… and says that the Lakers young core proved themselves when they were in trade talks.