The Lakers saga continues. Just 2 weeks after Magic Johnson stepped down as president of basketball operations, NBA insider, Ric Bucher claims Magic was copied on emails between owner Jeanie Buss and GM Rob Pelinka, criticizing his work.
Magic Johnson‘s decision to step down as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers might have been over behind-the-scenes drama within the organization. Just 16 days after his surprise resignation, many have wondered why Magic, 59, would give up such a coveted job in sports. Then again, it’s no secret that the Lakers organization is going through an extreme rough patch at the moment. NBA insider Ric Bucher shed light on the situation, claiming Magic read email exchanges between his longtime friend and Lakers owner, Jeanie Buss and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka criticizing his work.
Bucher, a Bleacher Report senior writer and Fox Sports 1 analyst, explained his claims during an appearance on Colin Cowherd‘s show, The Herd on April 25. “My understanding is that there were some emails that were exchanged between Rob and Jeanie… about Magic and about what Magic was and wasn’t doing,” he began. “They were critical emails. And somehow, someway, Jeanie, from what I understand, was CC’ing or blind CC’ing Magic on everything. That was sort of protocol. Standard issue.”
Bucher continued, “Somehow, the exchange between Rob and Jeanie ended up on that string of the blind CC’s that were going to Magic. So, Magic now is seeing emails from Rob to Jeanie that were critical of what he was doing and maybe most important in all this is that there was no indication that Jeanie was backing Rob up in terms of either going to Magic and letting him know this was going on or going back at Rob and defending Magic,” he said. “That was not happening and so when he talked about the backstabbing, to me, my understanding that’s what started it. The fact that Jeanie waved goodbye and said ‘Thank you for all that you did’ was that she didn’t necessarily disagree with what Rob was saying.”
Soon after the Bucher’s report started to pick up speed in the news and online, Magic tweeted, “The Truth will always come to light,” alongside a blush-faced, smiling emoji.
The truth will always come to light 😊
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 25, 2019
Magic officially stepped down as the president of basketball operations for the Lakers on April 9, ahead of the team’s home again against the Portland Trail Blazers. He told reporters that he made the decision because of his relationship with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.
“I want to always preserve our relationship with her,” Magic said, adding, “I think I had more fun when I was able to be the big brother and ambassador.” The decision was so abrupt that Jeanie didn’t even know at the time of Magic’s announcement. “Somebody’s going to have to tell my boss because I knew I couldn’t be face-to-face and tell her,” he told reporters.
He went on to admit that his role did not allow him to be the Magic Johnson everyone knows. “I had more fun when I was able to the be big brother and ambassador to everybody,” Magic said. “I thought about Dwyane Wade retiring tomorrow, and I can’t even tweet it out or be there. When Ben Simmons called and we went through the proper channels and they made me look like the bad guy out of that situation but I didn’t do anything wrong, I was thinking about all of those times, all the guys who want me to mentor them or be a part of their lives and I can’t even do that. I had more fun on the other side than on this side.”
The Lakers have yet to fill Magic’s role, with GM Rob Pelinka stepping into a bigger role in the meantime. Not to mention, the Lakers are still in search of their new head coach after mutually parting ways with Luke Walton, who has been picked up as head coach by the Sacramento Kings.