Even while the NBA playoffs began over the weekend, many eyes around the league appear to be on the Los Angeles Lakers, and where they’ll go after Magic Johnson abruptly resigned and Luke Walton was let go. Based on how things have gone initially, it seems as if Rob Pelinka is going to be heavily involved, and apparently if you ask some players and agents around the league, they’d prefer that to a LeBron James takeover.
Zach Lowe said on “The Woj & Lowe Show” that he’s hearing some not-so-quiet rumblings on the subject from some very powerful people (emphasis mine):
“Who they hire in the front office is going to be absolutely crucial to replace Magic, because there are two orbits here: There’s a Lakers orbit ... and then, the more interesting one is, there’s a LeBron orbit. And I’ve had some powerful people in the league, including a powerful agent who represents lots of key players, tell me, ‘We don’t want the person to be from either of those orbits. We don’t want the new GM, or president, or whatever, even to have some sort of connection to LeBron. We need it to be a fresh start. My players don’t want to have the impression that LeBron is running the team.’”
Always remember: an agent’s job first and foremost is to take care of their clients. If James is completely in charge of the Lakers, just inherently, the organization will not function in the best interests of someone else, especially if that someone else isn’t a Klutch Sports client. So with that in mind, a prominent agent making sure to get this out there really isn’t that surprising.
While pointing this out, it’s also worth noting that there have been continued whispers of tension between Jeanie Buss and James’ camp. It’s gotten to a point where we’ve gotten leaks about her desire for the Lakers to remain a Buss-ran organization and not a LeBron-ran organization, whatever that means.
All this is to highlight the amount of jockeying being done to get control of an organization that appears to be in disarray. All this tension and chaos presents an opportunity for all kinds of people to step into the power vacuum, and the amount of leaks about who wants what has everything to do with the pursuit of that opportunity.
We’ll see how this plays out but sometimes soon, Jeanie will have to speak up publicly to offer up some clarity on the situation moving forward. Until she does that, reports like Lowe’s will continue.