For the first time since free agency, Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka jointly addressed the media. Among the topics discussed were the signings of Michael Beasley, Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee.
While all of the attention was naturally on LeBron James, there has been plenty of debate and criticism of the Lakers filling out their roster with the veterans because of their history. “Some guys had different things happen in their past, but so what?” Johnson said.
“Rondo is still a champion. And you saw what he did for New Orleans last season. So we’re happy to have him. Lance played excellent basketball last season with his team; didn’t have a problem, wasn’t a problem. So we’re excited to have him. He’s been great out here.
“We don’t care about what has happened in the past. All we care about is what happens when you put on that purple and gold. They know what they need to do. They know how to act as a professional. No concerns.”
Pelinka highlighted championship teams often having various personalities in the locker room who contributed in different means. He envisions the same taking place with the Lakers.
“There were things we looked at that the elite teams had that are in front of us, and knowing our road to a championship is through every team, that we had to bring certain character traits to the team,” Pelinka explained.
“Each of the guys we signed had a purpose to that and we feel good about that.”
In addition to the Lakers front office not being concerned over the players signed, they aren’t asking them to be anything but genuine.
“We don’t want anybody to change. I want to see Lance shake it up. I want that, because that’s who he is. Michael Beasley, come on. Do your thing,” Johnson said. “We’re not going to change a guy but at the same time, we just want them to play team basketball and run the plays that Luke wants them to.”