Bogut taunts Lakers over Magic mess
MAGIC Johnson has gone full scorched earth.
The Lakers legend and former president of the club's basketball operations, who announced his departure from the franchise in a hastily arranged press conference last month, said on ESPN on Monday morning (local time) that general manager Rob Pelinka was part of the reason for his departure.
"I wasn't having fun coming to work anymore," the Lakers legend said, "especially when I gotta work beside (Pelinka), knowing that you want my position."
Johnson said numerous agents called him with a message to watch out for Pelinka, though he had never tried to fire the general manager.
Johnson had wanted to bring in his own coach - Tyronn Lue being a preferredl candidate. The Lakers hired Frank Vogel for the job last week.
"If you want to elevate yourself, I'm all for that," Johnson said. "But there's a way to get that, and it's not talking about the person that's above you."
Pelinka remains with the Lakers as general manager.
"I didn't like those things (Pelinka) was saying behind my back, that I wasn't in the office enough," Johnson said.
"So I started getting calls from my friends outside of basketball saying those things now were said to them. … not just in the Lakers, into the media and so on."
Pelinka responded on Monday afternoon at the press conference to introduce Vogel.
He said that he talked with Johnson two days prior about the team having the No.4 pick in the draft and denied all of Johnson's accusations.
"It's saddening and disheartening to think things (that are a) misperception," Pelinka said.
"I think all of us in life have been through things where there are third-party whispers or he-said-she-said things that aren't true … these things are surprising to hear and disheartening, but I look forward to the opportunity to sit down with him and talk to him because it's simply not true."
Johnson resigned on April 9 after three meetings with Lakers owner-president Jeanie Buss, as Johnson had worked to persuade her that coach Luke Walton should be fired.
"I showed her the things (Walton) did well and the things he didn't do well," Johnson said.
"I said listen, we gotta get a better coach. I like him, he's great, former Laker, the whole thing."
But Buss hemmed and hawed and brought in Lakers chief operations officer Tim Harris, who wanted to keep Walton. Johnson realised he did not have the sway he believed he had.
"I don't have the power I thought I had to make the decisions," Johnson said.
Australian NBA star Andrew Bogut, who is charging towards another title with the Golden State Warriors, appeared to respond to the series of events with a cheeky tweet that read: No one ever wants to hear "I told you so" but.......
Bogut had previously been openly critical of Lakers management this year when asked about his short stint with the team in the 2017-18 season, which came to an end when he was waived mid-season.
"The Lakers told me I'd be there the whole year," Bogut told the Bay Area News Group.
"They went against their word and waived me at the deadline. Whatever. That was their decision. I was basically lied to."