While we had a pretty good idea that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka had a fraught relationship, it’s a whole other matter when Magic goes on First Take and confirms the rumors that he believes Pelinka was backstabbing him.
Magic began the segment by saying that he had an understanding with Jeanie Buss that he had other business interests and thus would not be in the office every day, and that he had decision-making power.
Where it went wrong, Magic said, was that it got back to him both from people in the Lakers building and even outside it that Pelinka was backstabbing him about the work he allegedly wasn’t doing for the franchise.
Magic said that agents called him to warn him about Pelinka, but that he’d give the GM a fair shot. From a pragmatic perspective, Magic was baffled that Pelinka was doing this considering that Magic had told him he’d have the president’s job for three years before stepping aside for Pelinka.
The straw that broke the camel’s back, Magic said, was that he wanted to fire Luke Walton but that Tim Harris, from the business side, was trying to stop it from getting done. Magic did not like the idea of people from outside the basketball arena getting involved with basketball decisions.
Max Kellerman also asked Magic why he didn’t tell LeBron ahead of time that he was resigning his position when he recruited LeBron to the Lakers, and Magic essentially said that sometimes men and women have to make decisions for their own personal happiness and that he does not have any regrets about the process of which it went down.