When Magic Johnson was initially hired as president of basketball operations, he took a media tour to tell anyone who’d listen about how seriously he was going to take his job with the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to this, from ESPN’s Dan Le Batard, that would not necessarily seem to be the case.
I have been told by multiple sources that Magic Johnson is doing that job the way that I thought Magic Johnson was going to do that job. Sort of whisking in and out of the office. ‘Yeah fire everyone. Trade everyone. You’re doing a bad job. I’m going to run my movie empire.’ Is he still doing that? The details, the specifics of the doing of that job. Magic Johnson has been given all of the power and isn’t doing any of the work that usually gets done. He’s doing the job the way Phil Jackson did the job.
He’s pretty mad at (Rob) Pelinka from what I’ve heard.
The first reaction is going to be to ask what Le Batard might know about the ins and outs of the Lakers, a franchise sitting thousands of miles away from his native Maimi, but he is a journalist of thirty years and has probably built relationships all over the place.
If this is indeed true to any extent, this is quite the bombshell.
We saw how things turned out in New York with Phil Jackson and the Knicks. Professional sports is one of the world’s most competitive industries and anything short of almost pathological commitment to success is a great way to fall short of any goals.
The bit about Pelinka, while pretty powerful when put in this kind of context, isn’t all that surprising. The Lakers are not a good basketball team right now. Both Johnson and Pelinka promised an immediate improvement in the team’s culture and on-court quality. Neither assurance has come to fruition.
Johnson might be frustrated with the state of things, but that doesn’t necessarily have to mean he and Pelinka are not on the same page.
There’s obviously plenty of time for things to turn around, but a random mid-season trip to Hawaii isn’t typically the act of someone with a full commitment to their job. This report would further back up that concern among the fan base.