Publicado: Mar, May 21, 2019
Deportes | Por Godofredo Marrero

Magic Johnson says Rob Pelinka betrayed him

Magic Johnson says Rob Pelinka betrayed him

"I said, "Listen, I can't give up all my businesses". "I love LeBron, I love his family. but sometimes as a man, you have to make decisions based on your well-being". She said you have the power to make the decisions. It's time for me to go.

"She said "I'm going to put you with Rob Pelinka" because I didn't know Rob".

"The first year in was tremendous". I said 'Let's trade some people, get some trade picks. He's great. Former Laker, the whole thing.

"And then I start hearing: 'Magic, you're not working hard enough". Magic's not in the office.' So people around the Lakers office was telling me Rob was saying things.

It didn't take long, however, for things to run astray, Johnson said, because of things Pelinka was saying about him purportedly behind his back and eventually outside the Lakers' offices. Now it's in the media and so on. People have to remember something. "Just like me going back to my business and doing what I'm doing". I've got allies. I've got friends everywhere. He claimed the Buss brothers, Joey and Jesse, were power hungry.

"They felt they should have been in powerful positions, whether that's the general manager or the president", Johnson said.

Johnson resigned from his role as president of basketball operations on April 9. But then the whispering campaign started.

While Johnson did not deny wanting to fire head coach Luke Walton at the conclusion of the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season, he mentioned his frustration with the "backstabbing" and "whispering" that was happening. "And we had, Max, three meetings. The way he approaches the game and practices, every player now is like 'wow, I've got to get better'". I have talked to him several times since he chose to step away. First day, well let's think about it.

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"The next day, 'No, we should try to work it out'".

After the Lakers won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010, everybody predicted this is where we would be less than 10 years later, right?

"I wanted to fire Luke Walton", Johnson said, adding that ownership granted approval to fire Walton, then backpedaled. And Luke's a great guy. "A great guy. And so when I looked up and said, 'Wait a minute, I really only answer to Jeanie Buss, and now I've got Tim involved, ' I said it's time for me to go". "That was supposed to be me as the president, having that final say".

"And I'd told them in the beginning when it's not fun for me, and I don't have the decision-making power, I've gotta step aside". "You can't have everybody think that they can have a voice or have an opinion about the final decision".

Pelinka meanwhile denied Johnson's comments later Monday, saying the allegations of backstabbing "simply aren't true".

"I was gonna help elevate him to the president's position". And I'm okay with that. I told him in Year 2, 'I'm only gonna be here three years.

The Lakers hired Johnson and Pelinka within weeks of each other in the spring of 2017.

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