Magic Johnson’s Resignation From Lakers Prompted By Emails Criticizing His Performance

News details have emerged surrounding Magic Johnson’s resignation from the Lakers as president of basketball operations earlier this month.

According to a Bleacher Report (via Sporting News), the NBA star quit after he was copied on emails between team co-owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka criticizing his performance with the Lakers.

Fox Sports 1 analyst Ric Bucher shared details about the emails during his appearance on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on Wednesday.

“My understanding is that there were some emails that were exchanged between Rob and Jeanie about Magic and about what Magic was and wasn’t doing,” Bucher told Cowherd. “They were critical emails. And somehow, some way, Jeanie from what I understand was CC’ing or BCC’ing Magic on everything. That was sort of protocol, standard issue. Somehow the exchange between Rob and Jeanie ended up on that string of the blind CC’s that were going to Magic,” he explained.

“So Magic now is seeing emails from Rob to Jeanie that were critical of what he was doing. And maybe most important in all of this, there’s no indication that Jeanie was backing Rob up, in terms of either going to Magic and letting him know that this was going on, or going back at Rob and defending Magic. That was not happening. And so when he talked about the backstabbing, to me my understanding is that’s what started it.”

Johnson appeared to co-sign Bucher’s comments with a tweet on Thursday, saying: “The truth will always come to light,” he wrote (see the post below).

Magic didn’t tell Buss or Pelinka about his decision to quit before shocking fans and NBA colleagues with the announcement at the Lakers’ final game of the season.

“What I didn’t like was the backstabbing and the whispering,” Johnson told reporters. “I didn’t like that. I didn’t like a lot of things that went on that didn’t have to go on.”

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Why You Can’t Blame the Lakers’ Magic Johnson for Calling it Quits

Magic Johnson quit his gig as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday evening, in unforgettable fashion. Before LA’s last game of its dismal regular season (the team finished 37-45), Johnson told the world of his decision before telling the woman who hired him in the first place: Lakers owner Jeanie Buss. He was afraid Buss was going to talk him out of it.

Next time, just try a text?

Give Johnson some credit, however, for not mincing words as to why he was leaving. “I got a great life. Damn, I got a great life outside of this,” he told the assembled reporters at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “What the F … what am I doing? I got a beautiful life. I’m going back to that beautiful life. I’m looking forward to it.”

Can you blame Magic Johnson for wanting to return to being Magic Johnson for a living? Why make tough calls about the future of Luke Walton, LA’s embattled coach, when you can instead enjoy walking into any room in America, and feeling the love? The Magic job involves smiles and charm and stories and laughter. The Lakers job involves salary cap stress. Now Johnson can say: take your luxury tax — and Lavar Ball while you’re at it — and shove it.

Magic joins a list of Hall of Famers who’ve tried grinding jobs, only to realize the real work stinks. Earlier Tuesday, Magic’s teammate on the 1992 USA Basketball Olympic “Dream Team,” Chris Mullin, also resigned suddenly. After leading St. John’s to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the Hall of Fame St. John’s player-turned-coach quit after his fourth season (and his first winning one) at the helm. Mullin cited a “recent personal loss” as factoring into his decision; his older brother died of cancer in March. Another ’92 Dream Teamer, Clyde Drexler, quit as coach of his alma mater, the University of Houston, in 2000 after two seasons and a 19-37 record. Drexler cited a desire to spend more time with his family, and acknowledged he almost quit immediately upon starting the job.

“Because of the time that it takes in the coaching profession, in the first week I was thinking, ‘Boy, this is going to be a little bit more difficult than I thought,’” Drexler said back then.

Yes, another Dream Teamer, Larry Bird, enjoyed more success as a coach. He led the Indiana Pacers to the NBA finals in 2000, and won NBA Coach of the Year in his first season, in 1998. Bird walked away after Indiana’s Finals appearance, maintaining that NBA coaches had a three-year shelf life. That’s easy to say when you’re Larry Bird, and can ditch a job you don’t need. The Pacers haven’t returned to the Finals since Bird flew the coop.

Meanwhile, Michael Jordan’s commitment to building the Charlotte Hornets, the franchise he’s owned since 2010, into a winner has repeatedly come into question. Since Jordan bought the team, the Hornets (or Bobcats, the franchise nickname through 2014) have reached the playoffs three times, only to lose in the first round in each appearance.

This isn’t to say beware the Dream Team. Legends have flamed out in other sports too. The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, coached the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes for four seasons from 2005-2009; he finished with a not-so-great record of 143-161 before stepping down. Patrick Roy, the legendary goaltender who won four Stanley Cups during his career — two with the Montreal Canadiens, two with the Colorado Avalanche — coached the Avs for three seasons before resigning in 2016. He made the playoffs just once, losing in the first round. Ted Williams, one of baseball’s greatest hitters of all time, was fired after going 54-100 for the 1972 Texas Rangers. He finished his managerial career 273-364.

People like Patrick Ewing, who took over as coach at his alma mater Georgetown in 2017, and Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, who just finished his first season as coach of alma mater Memphis, may enjoy different results than the other stars. (In three combined seasons so far, Hardaway and Ewing have finished .500 or better each year, but made zero NCAA tournament appearances). And Bill Russell did win back-to-back titles, in 1968 and 1969, as player-coach of the Boston Celtics. Though without Russell the player in the lineup, Russell the coach finished under .500 in four seasons leading the Seattle Sonics in the 1970s, and a dismal 17-41 as coach of the Sacramento Kings for part of the 1987-88 season.

Perhaps these big-name players should take a cue from golf hero Arnold Palmer. People used to say that no one loved being Arnold Palmer more than Arnold Palmer. With his playing days behind him, he didn’t spend his time working as a coach or tour commissioner or anything like that. Instead, he’d order himself to drink at the Masters. In other words, he lived like a legend.

Sports – TIME


NBA rumors: Lakers drafting Lonzo Ball over De’Aaron Fox was tension point

NBA rumors: Lakers drafting Lonzo Ball over De'Aaron Fox was tension point originally appeared on Put plain and simple, the Los Angeles Lakers are an utter disaster. After drastically underperforming in Year 1 of the LeBron James era, the Lakers are looking toward an uncertain summer where they hope to be able to woo either Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard or Klay Thompson to ride shotgun alongside James. Their future got even murkier Tuesday when president of basketball operations Magic Johnson abruptly announced he was stepping down at an impromptu press conference prior to the Lakers' season finale against the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Report: Doc Rivers was advised against joining Lakers because LeBron James doesn’t want to be coached

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Luke Walton stresses camaraderie after Lakers ‘splinter’ versus Clippers

LOS ANGELES — Just days removed from the  Lakers’ biggest win of the season — a rout of the Golden State Warriors on their home court on Christmas Day — the team dropped its second straight game, and it caused a crack in their team camaraderie. "I felt like we kind of started to splinter a little bit while it was happening," Lakers coach Luke Walton said of the  LA Clippers’ 22-0 run that propelled them to a 118-107 win over the Lakers on Friday night. "That can’t happen. We can lose games, but we’ll lose them together. When we win them, we’ll win them together. No matter what’s happening on the court, we have to stay together and keep working and figure it out." The Lakers’ past two losses came without LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee — three of their key veterans. James’ teams have now lost 13 straight games when he hasn’t played, according to data compiled by ESPN Stats & Information. …
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Here’s How LeBron James and the Lakers Paid Tribute to the Thousand Oaks Shooting Victims

In the wake of the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif., that claimed the lives of 12 people last week, the Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks paid tribute to the victims with warmup shirts that read “ENOUGH.”

Following in the footsteps of both the Los Angeles Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks, the two teams wore shirts with “ENOUGH” printed on the front and the 12 victims’ names on the back ahead of their Sunday game at the Staples Center. The names of the victims were also read over the PA system before a moment of silence leading up to the national anthem, according to Uproxx.

Newly minted Laker LeBron James, who previously wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in 2014 in solidarity with protestors rallying against a grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, also took to Twitter to express his grief over the shooting.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones last night in Thousand Oaks, CA!!!!” he wrote, adding the hashtag .

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Jalen Rose Says Lebron James Will Shake Up Lakers Roster [Video]

Jalen Rose believes LeBron James’ influence will ultimately factor into which players get to stay in L.A.

TMZ caught up with Rose and he “says the guys on the current roster are basically auditioning to stay in Purple & Gold — and right now it looks like Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart are the only ones who appear safe,” the site reports.

So, where does that leave Lonzo Ball?

“I love Lonzo. He got game. But, they’re taking the ball out of his hands,” Rose explained … “I’m rooting for him.”

“Translation — Lonzo needs to get used to playing a style of basketball that he’s never played before …  one where he doesn’t have the basketball,” TMZ writes.

For the rest of the roster, Rose gives this advice:

“If you’re on your rookie contract, you’re auditioning to see who can fit best with LeBron … Hey, you know, gotta get out there and perform!”

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James Captivates Crowd In His Los Angeles Lakers Debut

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — LeBron James rubbed his hands in chalk powder at the scorer’s table, yelled “Yes!” to ecstatic fans in the first few rows and the Los Angeles Lakers’ new era was underway.

Playing in the same arena where Magic Johnson made his regular-season debut for Los Angeles 39 years ago, James captivated the crowd from the start of the Lakers’ exhibition opener Sunday night, a 124-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

The opening tip came James’ way and he tapped it to fellow newcomer Rajon Rondo, who threw an alley-oop pass to JaVale McGee for the game’s first score.

James missed his first shot, a turnaround fadeaway, but then made a no-look bounce pass from about 27 feet out to Brandon Ingram for a dunk. A minute later, James hit a long 3-pointer.

He finished with nine points, three rebounds and four assists in just more than 15 minutes.

“It was great to get back on the floor and then just start a new journey for myself and hear the Lakers fans that we have here in San Diego,” said James, who was married here in 2013. “It was great feeling to go out there and hear the roar from the fans here. I very much appreciate it.”

The three-time NBA champion, four-time NBA MVP and 14-time All-Star said he played a little more than expected, “and I felt pretty good.”

Seeing James in a Lakers uniform for the first time “was awesome,” said coach Luke Walton, who grew up in San Diego. “When you’re coaching the Lakers and you look out and see LeBron wearing your team’s colors, it’ a pretty good feeling.”

While the Lakers have a lot to work on, fans hope James’ arrival will turn things around after the worst half-decade in the franchise’s lengthy history.

He left the Cleveland Cavaliers for a four-year, $ 153.3 million free-agent deal with the Lakers.

“It always feels different for me anytime you change uniforms,” he said. “It felt different when I changed from wearing a St. Vincent-St. Mary jersey to wearing a Cavs jersey from a Cavs jersey to a Heat jersey, back to a Cavs jersey and now being a Laker. It definitely feels different and takes a little bit of time getting used to.”

He, Rondo and fellow veterans McGee, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley signed to team with the Lakers’ talented young core.

James was the focus on and off the court Sunday night.

He was cheered from the minute he ran onto the court with his new teammates for warmups. He played the first eight minutes before being subbed out.

When he came back in midway through the second quarter, he was greeted by a roar.

As he stood near the scorer’s table during a video review, a fan yelled: “LeBron, we love you!” and the superstar responded with a hang-loose sign.

Walton said James and Rondo “were great. Their commitment to pushing it, defensively. I thought the first group as a whole played really well, to start. Both groups were fouling way too much. They hit 30-some free throws. It’s going to be tough to win a game like that. But there’s some new rules we have to get adjusted to from this summer. The first group I thought played really well, obviously being led by the two of them out there.”

Asked before the game what stands out about James, Walton said, “His intelligence. He sees everything. He knows even before drills. He knows where he’s going. His work ethic. He’s out there pre-practice with the guys, post-practice with the guys. Taking care of his body in the weight room.

“He’s the ultimate professional.”

The Lakers’ regular-season opener is Oct. 18 at Portland. Their home opener is two nights later against Houston.

This was another big night for an L.A. basketball team at San Diego’s sports arena.

In 1975, John Wooden coached his final game here, leading UCLA to its 10th NCAA title in 12 seasons. In 1979, Johnson made his NBA debut when Los Angeles beat the then-San Diego Clippers in the season opener. After Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made a buzzer-beating sky hook, Johnson hugged the center like they’d just won the championship. Seven months later, they did win the NBA title.

Johnson is now the Lakers’ president of basketball operations and James was the prized acquisition of an offseason roster revamp.

As a kid, Walton used to watch his father, Bill, play for the Clippers, although the Hall of Famer’s years in his hometown were largely marred by injuries.

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