One of the funnier rumors that went around right after Magic Johnson abruplty resigned from the Los Angeles Lakers was the one about Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka having email exchanges about Johnson critical of various aspects of his approach to the job, but accidentally cc’ing him on them.
It was hilarious at the time and is still a funny scenario to think about today. During his now infamous appearance on ESPN’s “First Take,” Johnson was asked about that rumor, and his response only raises further questions:
“I don’t know if emails were sent because I didn’t see those emails. I only heard about it after Ric (Bucher) wrote that story. I didn’t ask Jeanie or anybody about them, because now it doesn’t matter.
“Even today, it doesn’t matter. I’m not a guy who holds grudges... I’m not going to sit here and say everything is bad in Lakerland because it’s not. You still have LeBron, you still have a great young core. Brandon Ingram is special. Kyle Kuzma is special. We have a chance to, if we stick to the game plan that I had built and sign a free agent this summer, the Lakers will be right back in the hunt, so I don’t know about the emails, but again, if it’s true, these are the things that also bothered me.”
So let’s get this straight. Somehow, Magic doesn’t know whether or not he received emails criticizing him. As was and tends to be the case whenever Johnson speaks as he did Monday morning, things aren’t quite adding up here.
If this is indeed the case, that would open us up for more potential backstabbing, as perhaps it was Pelinka just lobbing criticisms of Magic to Jeanie with Johnson cc’ed knowing Magic wouldn’t check his email anyway. How much fun would that scenario be? I can’t lie, I’m rooting for this.
Perhaps Johnson just doesn’t check his emails enough to notice, oh, you know, his boss having problems with his approach to the gig or his most senior co-worker agreeing with that sentiment. This would essentially confirm their concerns, by the way, if some happen to be about his work ethic or his availability to be contacted.
It’s also possible that Johnson just wasn’t up to date on the rumor, itself, and wasn’t clear on the report. Like that he had seen headlines involving those names and emails, but not actually heard or read Bucher's comments specifying that he was cc'd on them.
Even there, though, he knows who it was who reported the story, so I don’t know what the disconnect could have been in this case, either.
So basically, either Johnson was lying and actually received those emails, he didn’t check his email often enough to know whether or not he was being cc’ed by Buss and Pelinka, or was taken aback by the question and responded without knowing what anyone was talking about despite knowing who first presented this report.
Whatever the case may be, all this is behind the Lakers now that Johnson has obviously resigned, and now has likely burnt any remaining bridges he still had to the organization. At the very least, Johnson doesn’t have to worry about those tedious work emails any longer.