Video: Magic Johnson claims he left Lakers front office due to Rob Pelinka’s ‘betrayal’
Magic Johnson has broken his silence after a month-plus away from the Los Angeles Lakers following his abrupt departure from his position as president of basketball operations. The Lakers legend went on ESPN’s First Take and pointed to general manager Rob Pelinka and his “betrayal” as the reason why he decided to leave his post as the head of the front office.
Johnson pointed to Pelinka as the one who flamed rumors of his stance as an absentee front office executive.
“And then I start hearing ‘Magic you’re not working hard enough, Magic is not in the office,’ so people around the Laker office started telling me Rob was saying things. Rob Pelinka. And I didn’t like those things being said behind my back, that I wasn’t in the office enough.”
The rumors didn’t stop there, as Magic soon received the same intel from his very own circle outside of the front office.
“So I started getting calls from my friends outside of basketball (operations) saying those things are now being said to them outside of basketball.”
Magic Johnson identifies Rob Pelinka is the person who was backstabbing him. pic.twitter.com/3mul9lJuzi
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 20, 2019
The Lakers icon didn’t stop there, claiming that he felt betrayed by his own front office partner, but there were more reasons than the rumors from Pelinka’s mouth that affected his decision to resign his post as president.
“If you’re going to talk ‘betrayal,’ that’s only with Rob,” said Johnson. (h/t Harrison Faigen of SB Nation’s Silver Screen & Roll). “I didn’t like that Tim Harris was too involved in basketball. He’s supposed to run the Laker business, but he was trying to come over to our side. Jeanie’s gotta stop that.”
Magic had plenty of reasons to resign his position, but his airing out of this dirty laundry is only further confirmation to what many have called a “mom and pops shop,” given how the Lakers run their organization.
The constant swindling or rumors and backstabbing between one member of the front office and another was enough to make the Hall of Famer quit, yet he had many other reasons lined up for why this wasn’t the right fit for him at this point of his life.