Magic Johnson takes shots at Lakers GM Rob Pelinka ahead of introduction of new coach

first_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions “Right now everybody has a voice,” he said. “And that’s why sometimes we don’t make the right decision.”Johnson most pointedly accused Pelinka of “betrayal,” saying that he had spread the notion that Johnson wasn’t in the office often. But Johnson also acknowledged that he wouldn’t leave his outside businesses for the Lakers’ top executive role when he assumed the office in February 2017. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“I said (to myself), ‘It’s time to go,’” Johnson said. “I’ve got things happening that were being said behind my back. I don’t have the power that I thought I had to make decisions. And I told them when it’s not fun for me, and I don’t have the decision-making power that I thought I had, I gotta step aside.”For the first time, Johnson revealed the apparently still-raw wounds of his Lakers tenure with tensions with most of the team’s upper management figures. It comes at a vulnerable time for the franchise, which was scheduled to introduced new head coach Frank Vogel later in the morning, and which recently decided not to replace Johnson and allow Pelinka to run basketball operations.Johnson’s account also undermined the circle around Jeanie Buss, which he claimed had hindered his power over basketball decisions. In particular he cited the meetings he had with Buss about Walton, saying that Buss changed her mind twice on whether the Lakers should fire their coach, with Harris swaying her in the third and final meeting where Johnson was present.Related Articles Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed center_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Johnson also took accountability for some of the Lakers’ failings this past season, when the team finished with a 37-45 record. He acknowledged that he had not pursued shooters more actively last summer, and that he had let Brook Lopez (in the midst of a strong season with the Milwaukee Bucks) walk in free agency.The Lakers had no comment on Magic Johnson’s remarks Monday morning before the press conference. His resignation last month left cryptic loose ends — now Magic Johnson has decided to start pointing fingers.The Hall of Famer sowed fresh chaos on the Lakers in a Monday morning appearance on ESPN’s First Take, saying that clashes with other members of Lakers management and his sense that his power was limited led him to step down from his team president role.He accused general manager Rob Pelinka of talking “behind my back” about how he wasn’t around the team. He claimed Jesse Buss and Joey Buss sought more power within the organization and saw themselves in his job. He said the final straw came when COO Tim Harris campaigned to keep Luke Walton in a meeting with him and team owner Jeanie Buss.Johnson, 59, said that these factors contributed to his decision to leave on April 9 in a stunning press conference that he hadn’t warned anyone was coming.last_img

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