Magic Johnson says Rob Pelinka betrayed him
Magic Johnson appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” on Monday morning and opened up about the end of his Los Angeles Lakers’ tenure as team president. When asked directly if he felt betrayal, he directly identified general manager Rob Pelinka as the only one he feels betrayed him.
"If you're going to talk betrayal, it's only with Rob [Pelinka]."
Magic Johnson on @FirstTake!
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 20, 2019
Johnson also talked about how word of Pelinka criticizing him for not being in the office got back to him, not only from people inside the team, but also from friends outside the team.
Magic Johnson identifies Rob Pelinka is the person who was backstabbing him. pic.twitter.com/3mul9lJuzi
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 20, 2019
Later, when asked about Ric Bucher’s report that Johnson had inadvertently received an email exchange between Pelinka and team owner Jeanie Buss that was critical of Johnson. Johnson denied seeing that email or being aware of it until Bucher said it, but also was not surprised.
The Lakers are scheduled to introduce new head coach Frank Vogel on Monday. Buss and Pelinka can expect some additional questions based on Johnson’s statements.