Published: Tue, May 21, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Magic Johnson guarantees LeBron will win a championship in L.A.

Magic Johnson guarantees LeBron will win a championship in L.A.

Despite Magic Johnson airing his grievances with Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and a coaching search that took very public twists and turns before ending up on Frank Vogel, L.A.'s top basketball executive projected confidence as the franchise looks ahead to a crucial summer of free agency.

When negotiating his job requirements with team controlling owner Jeannie Buss, Johnson said he made it clear to her that he still needed to deal with his other business interests and that he wanted final say on personnel decisions.

"First year in was tremendous, so things got going in the right direction", Magic said. "I said, I'm going to be in and out".

On Monday morning, he was a guest on ESPN's "First Take" and explained why he stepped down. That said, if he was assured these things only to have Buss and the organization renege, then the Lakers shouldn't escape blame in the fiasco, either.

"Then I started hearing 'Magic, you're not working hard enough".

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Johnson said during his initial resignation press conference that he was exhausted of the backstabbing that goes on in the National Basketball Association.

Pelinka later Monday denied the report, saying Johnson's claims are "Simply not true". In fact, it's thought that in order for Irving to sign with any team except the Lakers, he would need to wait for a player like Durant to sign first and request for him to be signed as well. The Lakers won just 37 games this year. Now it's in the media and so on. He tagged Tim Harris, the Lakers COO, as being too involved with basketball decisions. "But there's a way to get that, and it's not talking about the person that's above you", Johnson added. "Just Rob, ' he said".

"What happened was I wasn't having fun coming to work anymore, especially when I have to work beside you knowing you want my position".

Also to his dismay, his autonomous decision-making power - which he says was also assured by Buss - appears to have decreased over time, as he wanted to fire former Lakers head coach Luke Walton, but was backed down by the organization.

Vogel, who replaced Luke Walton, said the news conference took on a different tone than he imagined at the start of the day. I shouldered the things he did well and the things he didn't do well. I said listen, we got to get a better coach. Luke's a great guy. So my job is to get you ready for this position.' I was gonna help elevate him to the president's position. But everything blended together to the point where he wasn't enjoying his role any more. I said I didn't mind doing that. "I don't have the power that I thought I had to make decisions".

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