Not long after the Los Angeles Lakers clinched the championship on Sunday against the Miami Heat, team general manager Rob Pelinka gave his former colleague, Magic Johnson, a call. It was a gesture that acknowledged Johnson’s contributions towards this championship, despite the fact that the Hall of Famer is no longer with the team.
Magic quickly took to Twitter to share his reaction to Pelinka’s courtesy call:
Rob Pelinka really made me feel good tonight reaching out after the Lakers won the NBA Championship. It means the world to me because I know he’s in the middle of celebrating with all of the Lakers players, coaches, and Jeanie Buss he didn’t have to!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 12, 2020
That’s pure class from Pelinka, who went out of his way to give Johnson a quick call. As Magic said above, Pelinka had no obligation to do so, but for the high-ranking team executive, it just felt like the right thing to do. This speaks volumes of Pelinka’s relationship with the Lakers legend, which is something that Pelinka also expressed in one of his many post-game interviews:
“I still have such gratitude for the two seasons I got to work with Earvin, and he’s definitely a part of tonight with his vision and working side by side,” Pelinka said, via Dan Feldman of Yahoo Sports. “He’s an unbelievable person, and we have a great, incredibly strong relationship. He was one of the first calls tonight. Had a great talk with him.”
It was Lakers team owner Jeanie Buss who brought Johnson into the fold back in 2017, naming him as the team’s president of basketball operations. It was under Magic’s tenure that the team was able to recruit LeBron James to L.A., and Johnson himself is credited for playing a huge role in the same. After two years at the helm, Johnson surprisingly stepped down in April 2019.