Following an earlier airing of dirty laundry and an unabashed diss of Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson seems to have some closet skeletons of his own.
According to a report from ESPN's Baxter Holmes, the former executive used “intimidation and bullying” as a way to showcase his dominance at the helm of the Lakers' front office.
Johnson allegedly was no saint or victim, ruling with an iron first and not accepting excuses for failure during his two-plus-year reign atop the Lakers' executive board, telling those under him that they could be replaced at any time and keeping “a thousand” resumes atop his desk to prove his point:
“It was shocking,” said one Lakers coaching staff member who was present. “If you're going to be in this business, you bring enough pressure on yourself. You don't need more pressure, especially from someone who's supposed to be an ally.”
Johnson made it clear from the start that he would rule with that iron fist, and he maintained that same approach throughout his tenure:
“If you questioned him on anything, his response was always a threatening tone,” said a Lakers front office staffer who interacted with Johnson directly. “He used intimidation and bullying as a way of showing authority.”
The Johnson era culminated with his unexpected resignation before the end of the season, sending shockwaves across the NBA and signs of dysfunction of a front office that had been well suspected to be dire mess.