Alright, let’s dive right into this one.
Former Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson made an appearance on Fox Sports 1’s “Undisputed” and talked about his time with the team, particularly as it pertained to his failed pursuit of Anthony Davis:
Skip Bayless: “Okay, but what if you pulled off the AD trade at the trade deadline? Would you still be in power?”
Magic Johnson: “Oh, I would still be there. And then I could have the coach that I wanted, and I’d still be there — of course.”
Johnson also said that he thinks the Lakers would have been in a better position to sign Kawhi Leonard in free agency if he was still at the helm because of the relationship he has with Leonard and Leonard’s chief advisor Dennis Robertson, also known as “Uncle Dennis.”
Johnson: Everything would have fallen into place and also, too, Kawhi — knowing him, knowing the uncle. We had some great conversations, too, so we would have had just as good a shot as we had before, but I think even better with me at that position ... I’m not saying that he would came to the Lakers, but I’m saying I think we would have had a better shot at him.”
Without context, it sounds like Johnson was fired by his longtime friend, Jeanie Buss, for not being able to pull off a trade for Davis at the trade deadline in February, which wouldn’t be that hard to believe. Just a few years prior, Buss fired her brother, Jim Buss, in part because he didn’t trade for DeMarcus Cousins when the All-Star center was available in 2017.
The only problem is that didn’t happen — not even close.
On April 9, before the Lakers tipped off against the Portland Trail Blazers in their final game of the season, Magic Johnson held an impromptu press conference in which he resigned from his position as the team’s president of basketball operations. In layman’s terms, he quit, which makes his comments about if he was still around moot.
Do you how he could have had things his way? By not abruptly quitting.
Additionally, the conversations that Johnson had with Leonard and his camp were leaked during free agency, which apparently didn’t help the Lakers’ chances.
Johnson is one of the greatest players in Lakers history and is arguably the greatest point guard of all time. His rivalry with Larry Bird also brought the NBA to the heights it’s at now.
What he did — or didn’t do — for the Lakers, though, spoiled his legacy. And the more he talks about what he could have done, the worse it gets. If I were Johnson, I’d just enjoy the MLS Cup Playoffs with LAFC and tweet through the NBA season.
After all, that is why he quit, isn’t it?
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.