Lakers GM Rob Pelinka saddened by Magic Johnson calling him out, says accusations aren’t true
Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is saddened by Magic Johnson’s decision to call him out on national television, as the former president of basketball operations went on ESPN’s “First Take” and accused his former partner for backstabbing him throughout their tenure together.
During Monday’s press conference to introduce new head coach Frank Vogel, Pelinka shot down Johnson’s claims, calling them “saddening” and “simply not true,” according to Ryan Ward of ClutchPoints. Pelinka added that Magic is “an unbelievable person to work with.”
Johnson aired plenty of dirty laundry through a half-hour-plus segment alongside Steven A. Smith and Max Kellerman, telling them of the decisions he tried to make but wasn’t allowed to follow through on, along with how the Anthony Davis trade package was leaked, and his reasoning for resigning on the spot from his position.
Pelinka would go on to say during the press conference that the Lakers won’t be replacing Magic Johnson and that “no one can replace what he does,” according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
The general manager would go on to explain that the president of basketball operations title was one created by governing owner Jeanie Buss to accommodate Johnson into the picture, but the position has been since eliminated, leaving Pelinka at the helm of the front office.
Johnson said he felt a “betrayal” coming from Pelinka, given the steadfast pursuit of his title, one the Hall of Famer claimed he was grooming him for, hoping he’d be ready to take over by the end of his term.