Tuesday morning an article was released on ESPN with reporting from Baxter Holmes, detailing many levels of Lakers dysfunction over the past couple years surrounding Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, Jeanie Buss, and Rich Paul.
Within the many subjects discussed in the report, one focused on the puzzling free agency signings following the acquisition of LeBron James. The signings of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, and Michael Beasley confused many in the NBA world, and apparently, they confused people within the organization as well according to the report.
“We all had the same reaction that the basketball world did, like what the f— are we doing?” one Lakers coaching staff member told ESPN. “Not only are we not getting shooting, but we’re also getting every basket case left on the market.”
In addition to that quote, the report also noted that Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson sought “little to no consultation” from coaching staffers and others in basketball operations regarding these decisions.
This all obviously happened in the summer of 2018, but the staff members’ confusion continued into the present day regarding the Lakers’ botched coaching search. The ESPN report details this below:
After Walton’s departure, the resulting head coach search, led by Pelinka, proved rocky — with the Lakers’ top two candidates — Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams — turning down the job before Frank Vogel accepted. (Williams took the same position with the Phoenix Suns, and the Lakers’ negotiations with Lue, who was said to be their top candidate, broke down late in the process.) Multiple staffers described the aftermath of these moves as leaving the organization in a state of “shock” and “confusion.”
These reports will probably give Lakers fans some pleasure and anger at the same time. On one hand, if the reports are true, there’s obviously some Lakers staff members who are seeing the same things that the majority of Lakers fans are seeing.
On the other hand, these same Lakers staff members have seemed to be ignored in regards to free agent decisions while sharing our own “shock” with the mess that was the Lakers’ coaching search. It remains to be seen if any of this improves going into the next season, with not much confidence to be had as Rob Pelinka is still the general manager of the team.
Stay updated with us for more surrounding this report as it continues to develop.