Lakers Notes: Pelinka, Johnson, Demps, Russell

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka said Magic Johnson‘s blistering comments about him were “surprising” and “disheartening,” Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Johnson, who resigned as president of basketball operations shortly before the season ended, accused Pelinka on ESPN’s First Take of “backstabbing” him for telling people around the league he wasn’t working hard enough. Pelinka responded to the accusation during coach Frank Vogel‘s introductory press conference.

“They’re just simply not true,” Pelinka said. “I stand beside him. I stand with him as a colleague and a partner. I’ve always supported everything he’s done and will continue to.”

According to an ESPN report, Pelinka spoke to Johnson two days ago regarding the team landing the fourth pick in the draft lottery.

We have more on the Lakers:

  • Pelinka confirmed that the organization will not hire a president of basketball operations to replace Johnson, according to a post from ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. Pelinka revealed that, in terms of decision-making, he consults with the basketball staff as well as senior adviser Kurt Rambis and then makes suggestions to owner Jeanie Buss.
  • Pelinka vows that the turmoil surrounding the organization won’t prevent it from building a championship team as soon as next season, ESPN’s Dave McMenanim writes. “I think if people take a look at where this franchise is right now, again we have a great coach, we have a high draft pick. We have a great young core, maybe one of the best in the league. We have a superstar on our team, and an open slot,” he said. “So I think people can look at this as an opportunity to win a championship possibly next year.”
  • Johnson blamed former Pelicans GM Dell Demps in the ESPN interview for leaking trade offers involving Anthony Davis prior to the trade deadline, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports relays. “I told Dell Demps, ‘Let’s just do it in private. What we offer, let’s keep it between us.’ Well, Dell didn’t do that. So, that’s how it got out,” Johnson said.
  • Johnson also said during the First Take interview that his decision to trade D’Angelo Russell to the Nets was directly related to the issues he had with former Lakers guard Nick Young, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes. Russell pranked Young by goading his teammate into admitting that he cheated on his former fiancé, recording star Iggy Azalea. Russell posted the recording on his private Snapchat account but it became public.
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26 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Pelinka, Johnson, Demps, Russell

  1. Richard Hangslow

    What’s Magic’s end game here? I don’t understand the purpose of this.

    • knickscavsfan

      Honesty? He wasn’t apologetic so he feels, in his heart, that he was telling the truth. He does’t NEED anyone. He doesn’t need to be pc. He’s a boss so he knows he can speak freely. Shoot…days afterwards he’s having lunch with Jenny and on the sly, letting the world know he wants to purchase the Lakers if/when Jenny wants to sell.

      • whoneedsfacts

        Lakers have a good core of young guys and the 4th pick. I guarantee that pick changes their luck in the world of trades. Dell was just being salty and his salty ass is unemployed now.

    • victorg

      end game was to expose pelinka and get some pitty out of it , magic is not a good gm ..wasn’t a good coach either…. but damn great player.
      but the Russell trade alone speaks to why he should not be in charge of a roster.

    • deano

      I love Magic…or used to. The way to fix this is to not take your marbles and go home. “I wasn’t having fun anymore”. I’m sorry, if you love the Lakers and Love Jeannie and you are getting $10M a year to run the show, then dammit, run the show. Fix the problem and stop being a baby about it. You go to Jeannie and say this is what we need to do to make this effective. You don’t just quit the last day of the year without even talking to her. Then go on national TV the day of their press conference to tell the world how screwed up they are and how to fix it! He’s trying to undermine everything they are doing. Even if they are botching it, his antics are just compounding it.

  2. Dark14ry

    His end game to to expose the Fakers for exactly what they have become since Dr. Buss died. This organization is a joke and is the West Coast Knicks.
    Everyone in the NBA hates Polinka and yet, here he stands, directing the Lakers. This also means no one will trade with the Lakers unless they fleece em cause how the mighty have fallen.

    • Yep it is

      Tragic was a joke as President but at least he had Laker blood in him. This team is a joke. What a train wreck. Love seeing BRON BRON stuck like this and size 50 ego.

    • kenleyfornia2

      That says more about other teams than the Lakers for refusing to trade with them. Dell Demps thought that way and now he doesn’t have a job. New Orleans missed the boat bad. Theres no way on earth you can say they will get equal value to Ingram, Kuzma, Ball and the pick that ended up being #4 overall for AD.

      • knickscavsfan

        Good point. I would say with the #1 pick it likely has changed the way they approach a trade tho. They aren’t as desperate knowing they can rebuild with Zion.

      • x%sure

        Like post, but if the trade was actually made, their pick would not… Hmm. Where would it be, better or worse? Without all those traded players, and no FAs to sign to replace them in midseason, IDK. Whatever, the luck to get the #4 pick is perhaps the best thing they did in 2019!

  3. This will all blow over once they stay healthy and win some games. No reason this team as is can’t win forty. LeBron is notorious for starting slow with new teams and they never gel right away. Injuries didn’t help. LeBron won’t get traded. Ball might. Ingram might. Get a solid center and this will be ok.

    • victorg

      problem is LeBrons age and wear and tear is catching up with him add to the fact that he had other alphas on the teams with him when he won chips and as of right now this lakers team is not built to win a title. yeah if he stays healthy they may win 50 games but that wasn’t the point.

  4. OCTraveler

    Magic’s plan is simple … he leaves, begins to stir the pot and ruffles some feathers, agitates ownership enough that they want to get out and swoops down and BUYS THE LAKERS!

    • bowserhound

      You may be right, you may be crazy. I’m not sure which would be worse. He’d need another big name basketball guru on his side to win over the fanbase.

  5. rbell1951

    Go Lakers and prove all the haters wrong next season.
    Lakers Fan For Life!!! Good

  6. Such a shame how the legend of Magic has been treated, so much dissing.
    I hope Dell Demps doesn’t get another job in the league, I absolutely hate leakers in any walk of life, also he mismanaged the trade & lost half the value of AD, dissed him & NOLA fans, just go away to never come back dude.

    • victorg

      I think demps will get a job in SA I think he did not trade davis to lakers at poppys request with the understandment of well hey they are going to can me if I don’t make this trade and I will need a job.

  7. Meadowlark

    One of the leagues storied franchises has become an outright laughingstock. So sad. The question is, which is worse the Laughingstockers or the rats maze that characterizes living in LA. “I wasn’t having fun”. What a joke.

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