Lakers News: Magic Johnson Reveals Rob Pelinka Was ‘Backstabbing’ And ‘Whispering’ Behind His Back
Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, Lakers
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the team’s final game of the 2018-19 NBA season against the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson suddenly stepped down during an impromptu press conference at the Staples Center.

While Johnson was expected to fire head coach Luke Walton first after three seasons, no one could have predicted him resigning before one of the most important offseasons in team history.

Since then, there have been conflicting reports about why Johnson ultimately resigned and general manager Rob Pelinka’s reputation around the league.

For the first time, Johnson addressed his ‘backstabbing’ and ‘whispering’ comments during last month’s press conference, via ESPN’s First Take:

“I start hearing, ‘Magic, you not working hard enough. Magic’s not in the office.’ So, people around the Lakers office was telling me Rob was saying things and I didn’t like those things being said behind my back that I wasn’t in the office enough and so on and on. So, I started getting calls from my friends outside of basketball saying those things now were said to them outside of basketball. Now, not just in the Lakers office anymore, now it’s in the media and so on.”

When Stephen A. Smith asked if anyone else in the Lakers organization backstabbed him, Johnson made it clear it was only Pelinka:

“No, just Rob. Other people didn’t bother me… I wasn’t having fun coming to work anymore. Especially when I got to work beside you, knowing that you want my position.”

Since Johnson’s resignation, owner Jeanie Buss and company have been heavily criticized. From the Lakers staying extremely quiet to the team’s interesting coaching search that led to former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue ending contract negotiations, these latest comments by Johnson certainly do not help them to begin the offseason.

As Johnson’s comments about Pelinka confirm some reports, the team’s general manager revealed his role has not changed at the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery. While it may not have changed, the Lakers recently decided not to hire a new president of basketball operations and Pelinka will report directly to ownership moving forward.

With the Lakers set to introduce new head coach Frank Vogel, it will be interesting to see if Pelinka addresses Johnson’s comments. Although Los Angeles has more options heading into the 2019 NBA Draft with the No. 4 pick, it does not matter if potential players view them as an unstable organization.

You May Also Like

Jeremy Lin On Spurs Win: ‘Played Hard For A Team Full Of Toilet Paper’

Before Friday’s win against the San Antonio Spurs, all the talk was…

Lakers News: LeBron James Calls Fan Support Against Rockets On Road ‘Humbling’

The Los Angeles Lakers have put together one of the most dominant starts to the first half of a regular season in team history…

Lakers Nation Roundtable: Grading The Lakers’ Offseason Signings

The Los Angeles Lakers’ main priority going into the 2013 offseason was…

Rob Pelinka Used Lookbooks Of Kobe Bryant, NBA All-Stars To Challenge Lakers

Late last February, Los Angeles Lakers owner and president Jeanie Buss sent shockwaves throughout the league…