Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers, Rob Pelinka Stephen discussed on First Take

First Take


What's right or make the best decision on the one hand. But also do the thing that she feels is right in terms of her own loyalty to the Lakers tradition and personal relationships on the other. And I think that's where she's caught right now. And that's where the franchises caught. Magic Johnson is my childhood idol. This pitcher was taking twenty six. There we go. This was taken twenty six years ago, Steven as Vic covering the league twenty five years. I'm gonna tell you guys why Magic Johnson actually stepped down. He stepped down because he wasn't able to finish the job. That's the flat out truth. He was able to deliver LeBron James, which is an iconic basketball player. But the Lakers didn't make the playoffs this year. The second part of the job was to deliver a max level free agent. This is why you let Julius Randle walk for nothing. This is why you trae MAs gos- contract, and you trade the Angelo Russell you try to during the season. Anthony Davis that blows up in your face. And now that deal won't look as good in the future. Because we don't know what Brandon Ingram future is going to hold because he has a blood clot issue. Lonzo ball has had an injury riddled season. And so therefore. If the top free agents who I'm calling the four ks Kawai k d kyri in clay if none of them are coming to the Los Angeles Lakers. The job will be incomplete because what I've been trying to tell people all season not only were they not going to compete this year. If they're not able to get one of those players, including Anthony Davis who does it control his own destiny because the pelicans will not talk to the Lakers because they felt like they tampered with him. And it felt like magic was the person that did it therefore he's not going to be able to deliver one of the toughest things to do is to coach and or manage an aging superstar. That's what LeBron James is right now, he's still going to. I gave y'all fourteen minutes. None. I don't want to take any time away from you. I just want. I wanna come to you to ask you because we agreed there. But the question is about magic blindsiding the Lakers, meaning the timing of all of this that. That's what I want to know from you. Why do you think he did it at that time? I think he did it right now. Stephen as because he sees exactly what I'm saying. Here's what happens when you're a hall of fame mogul like I'll call Magic Johnson when you're even and you're the president of the Los Angeles Lakers. We're keeping score on the team's record. How poor they shoot from three. How poor they shoot from the free throw line how they're one of the worst teams in the league as it relates to turnovers. Then you look at that roster. It'd be like, wait a minute. They sat all of these vets to one year deals, and then you look at the other side, they have all of these players that are rookie deals. None of these guys feel like they're invested in the Lakers except LeBron James because none of these guys have long term security with the situation. It doesn't of being being magic Stephen is a lot more Joe. Oh, veal people get a chance to appreciate your greatness at all of the amazing things that you've accomplished Laker fans. Want to see them win championships? They want to see them continue. And now you have LeBron going into a seventeenth year. You have magic unable to deliver the second level NBA superstar. So he now understands this is my best time. I tap out. I have another question for you. And this is a sensitive question. So I want to be very clear is a sensitive question. Rob Pelinka is a former teammate of yours at Michigan. How close are you to? Oh, we're really close. I'm close magic is world understand. And I know that and I know that I'm not trying to. I'm just saying before I say that before I say what I'm about to say I wanted to ask you that question in all fairness because I don't disagree with anything that you're saying, I just don't think that's the point a regards to the timing that all of this has gone down. And so when you take that into consideration and covering the NBA the way that you do and knowing the NBA the way that you do I personally want to put on the record. I like rob link. I have no issue with rob Belika whatsoever. He's always been cool with me. And I think he was a hell of an agent. But the what is inescapable is that everywhere you turn this guy. Whether it's other agents or executive, and, you know, this Jalen is incredibly this light by some of those people. And then when you hear that behind the scenes that he magic because. Magic. According according to my sources until a few weeks ago magic politica will find absolutely fine. And then all of a sudden magic became aware that things were going on behind the scenes that he didn't like, and he thought some of it was coming from rob rob, obviously in defensive himself was absolutely right to come to the defense because you've got people are jealous and envious of his accomplishments and could be lying, rob Belika. But the reality is that it got to magic. And so magic yesterday during a press conference ask Ramona Shelburne as well as the row ski as they mcmenamin ask as Brian winters ask any report as anybody that was in the building last night listening to Magic Johnson's press conference. And when he was asked about rob Pelinka. It wasn't. It wasn't pleasant. It wasn't. He teen is about Jeannie and the affection was for Judy. There was no love for rob. Did you know? Support. I'm sorry. Max, what did you say? Where does where does Pelinka's where does Pelinka support come from from g correct? And why does sports Pelinka isn't a Kobe Bryant. Yes. Correct. But I'm asking you Jalen, what I just say what's your response to all of that. So a few things they were operating in tandem, Stephen A, you can't necessarily exclude when Magic Johnson is on Jimmy Kimmel, and he's talking about Paul George. You can't blame that on rob Pelinka signed for tampering. Of course, when there was time to do a deal with the pelicans as it related to try to acquire Anthony Davis, the things that he said, not rob Pelinka made the team feel like he was tampering with their player, which may them not want to deal with the Lakers at all. And if you notice the pelicans GM dill dips lost his job in theory. Magic Johnson stepping down from his job because. Both of those franchises went in flux when that deal became public, and it didn't get done. Do you think Magic Johnson has trip with Dacian of fire and a coach like this dude is a billionaire? He's a conglomerate he makes changes all of the time. It's not that he's afraid to do it. Stephen would it is. It's he understands what I've been trying to tell you, which is why you only a pair of designer shoes. This Laker situation is we anticipate that they're going to be a contender. But the reality of it is they need to build that. Lebron James doesn't wanna hear words like process he's going into a seventeen year and in order for this squat to be one of the best tease in the Western Conference. It's going to take a couple of years because I don't believe they're going to get one of the top tier free ages this off season. Jalen, Jalen, rose that was really really slick, and you can give lessons all be as slick, and that's a compliment you. The other side of the pillow. But that's not fly with me, bro. The fact of the matter is this all of this stuff that you just say, I don't refu- in terms of what has happened to the Lakers or whatever. And yes, I do oh you're pissed Necas because I thought Lakers will go onto the conference finals, and they will feed at the time. The LeBron got hurt. But you talk about Denver, and you deserve prophet. So I'll give you just because it's not an issue. But that wasn't my question broke. My question to you is about your former teammate who's now the general manager of the Lakers who clearly in the end magic did not appear to have much love for. I need you to answer that question because all the stuff that you said is right, but it's a relevant to the point that I'm getting too. And that is the friction that existed of his peers. I don't know if for fac, but it clearly appeared to be the case with every reporter that was there yesterday when it came to rob Pelinka could you answer that question. Yes, sir. I like to gauge success off a realistic expectations. And Magic Johnson at rob Pelinka Stephen were working in tandem in order to try to make the Los Angeles Lakers contending team when that doesn't happen relationship. Splinter when you don't make your goals, and it was certain just like being on a losing team a winning team with somebody makes a mistake my bad. I'll soccer Feis and do better job on a losing team. Every step body starts to point fingers. See why a at that point. And so I understand what you're saying about some of the reports that came out about Magic's work ethic about the fact that he has so many interests that he wasn't at the job every day consistently. He was never going to beat a guy that was going to be scout in high school and college players, you know. Twenty four seven three sixty five because he's more of an ambassador that's holding the role of president. Which is why you bring in raw to actually do the day to day functioning with it done type of work. Max, Jalen, that's why it that's why the hiring of Pelinka raised my eyebrows. In the first place. Magic Johnson as you say he's the face. He's the embassador. He's not going to do the detail work. Everyone knows that off the bet the question is who do they bring in? And when they brought in Kobe's guy, I thought her Pelinka and he's not he's not a GM. He's not an experienced executive on that side. He's a seller. He's not a buyer. That's very strange that seems like competing forces magic on the one hand Kobe on the other. I think Koby has a real place in this story so to speak, but I want to get back to magic Stephen A because it's your defending him in certain ways by bringing up Pelinka. And I agree with you about that. But I will see this about the way magic went about this announcement on the day Dirk and Wade retired right before the last Lakers game the way he walked away. It's his no moss moment like Roberto Durant, saying no, MAs to Jalen point. And I don't think he'll ever live it down. Magic johnson. Lakers fans were always loved him. But this is a day that will go down in the story of Magic Johnson. Like Roberto Durant saying no MAs against. Just dropped the grandma, and that's what that. What I want Stephen eight to respond to that. After the break is we have plenty more on this. We're just getting started. That was riveting television. If I do say, so myself. The dilatot we fly to three hundred cities around the world. That's three hundred cities where everyone does the same things you do that's three hundred cities where people think they're the only ones who know about that one place three hundred cities where people missed someone in one of our other two hundred ninety nine cities three hundred cities where people sing in the car or the shower or both. Hooley? Delta isn't flying to three hundred cities merely to bring us together to show us. We're not that far apart of first place. Delta keep climbing. This

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