Magic Johnson Calls Out Rob Pelinka for Backstabbing on First Take

Magic Johnson Lakers

Magic Johnson on Monday laid bare just how rocky his relationship with the Lakers was at the end of his tenure as team president, confirming numerous rumors that emerged after he abruptly resigned in early April, in what amounted to a thorough dismantling of his former team on ESPN's "First Take". Most notably, he blamed Lakers GM Rob Pelinka for "backstabbing" and spreading rumors about him he claims weren't true. "Magic's not in the office, '" Johnson told ESPN in an interview on "'First Take" on Monday.

"I think the most important thing for me is the two years getting to work side by side with Earvin are some of the greatest memories I have", Pelinka said. "Magic's not in the office, '" Johnson told First Take.

Catching many in the organization - most notably superstar LeBron James, who had signed with the team in the offseason - by surprise, Johnson abruptly resigned on April 9, at the time saying merely that working the job didn't allow him to be himself.

Harris, Johnson said, attempted to block Johnson's decision to fire then-coach Luke Walton, leading Johnson to realize that he didn't have the autonomy he was promised, and to quit. "I showed (Buss) the things he did well and the things he didn't do well". I said we need to get a better coach.

"So we went back and forth like that, and then she brought Tim Harris into the meeting, some of the guys, and Tim wanted to keep him because he was friends with him". I only really answer to Jeanie Buss and now I've got Tim involved. Not only does Johnson say the Lakers won't trade James. "And what's insane was-you know when I took the job how many agents called me and said, 'you gotta watch out for him'". He's supposed to run the Laker business. Jeanie [Buss has] gotta stop that.

"I respect LeBron for what he just said", Johnson said on Monday.

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"I got things happening that are being said behind my back". "You can't have everybody think that they can have a voice or have an opinion about the final decision".

Vogel has his work cut out for him, but despite the pressure facing him to quickly turn the Lakers back into a perennial Western Conference contender, he is excited about the opportunity to turn the tide for such a prestigious organization. "Just Rob, ' he said".

Regardless, Johnson can now resume "being Magic", discussing the top players in the league publicly without being penalized for tampering, and overall, get back to having "fun" with his life. So my job is to get you ready for this position.' I was gonna help elevate him to the president's position.

The Lakers proceeded to crash out of the playoff race in embarrassing fashion for both Johnson and James.

It didn't work out for Johnson or Demps, who was sacked after the trade deadline. He guarantees LeBron will win a championship with the team before it's all said and done.

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