With an incredibly important offseason approaching in which the Los Angeles Lakers could elevate themselves into championship contenders for the 2019-20 NBA season, they have been surrounded by nothing but drama.
Magic Johnson’s sudden resignation from his position has brought about a ton of questions and subsequent interviews have only further placed the Lakers in a negative light.
One issue that has come about regarding Johnson was his level of commitment to the job as he has a number of other businesses that need his attention. This reportedly kept him out of the office regularly and was something that he believes general manager Rob Pelinka would speak on behind his back, leading to allegations of backstabbing.
At this point, it is strongly believed that Johnson was out of the office more often than not, but he was known to be demonstrative when he was actually in, according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
Current and former team staffers told ESPN that Johnson, who has business interests outside the Lakers, was frequently absent, sometimes appearing only once a week or every two weeks. But, these same people said, when Johnson was there, he could make his presence known in a demonstrative way.
It could certainly be tough to work in an environment like that if this is truly how things were in the office. To not see someone regularly and then have less than pleasant interactions when they do come around is something no one wants to go through.
Another former staffer took things farther, calling Johnson a fear monger:
“He comes off to the fan base with the big love and the smile,” said one ex-Lakers athletic training official who interacted directly with Johnson. “But he’s not — he’s a fear monger.”
It is definitely true that Johnson’s public persona is that of the big, smiling, jovial person who is beloved by all. Of course, as someone with many successful business ventures, he surely has that other side to him and that isn’t seen by the public.
It’s also important to recognize where the sources are coming from. There may be truth to what this former staffer is saying, but as a former employee, it is also possible that they still harbor ill feelings towards Johnson and the Lakers as a whole.
Whatever the case may be, Johnson is no longer around, so the Lakers must move forward and focus on what’s most important — getting back to championship contention.