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Information leaking about what Magic Johnson talked about with Kawhi Leonard reportedly ‘didn’t help the Lakers case’ to sign him

Kawhi Leonard wanted details of his free agency recruitment kept quiet. Former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson didn’t get the memo.

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Now that Kawhi Leonard has made his decision and will join up with Paul George on the LA Clippers instead of signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, details are coming to light about the process that got him there. According to Cris Carter of FS1, one detail isn’t exactly flattering regarding Magic Johnson’s role in all this.

For some background, Leonard and his camp were adamant about teams vying for him not leaking anything about their meetings. Leonard’s secrecy is the stuff of legend, and anything that threatened that would put into question his ability to trust that organization.

Apparently, Johnson just couldn’t help but to leak just about everything about his meeting with Leonard — including just how badly Uncle Dennis wanted to meet with the former president of basketball operations, and what they talked about.

It would seem that Johnson’s doing so didn’t please Leonard’s camp, which includes Carter’s former agent:

Leonard’s camp specifically requested Johnson, so he was always going to play a role in the Lakers’ pursuit of the reigning Finals MVP. Unless such a request is made once again, honestly, this should be the final nail in the coffin of Johnson’s role with the Lakers in any real capacity.

Magic was already hilariously bad as president of basketball operations. He resigned in an unprecedentedly unprofessional manner and then badmouthed Rob Pelinka after the fact for pointing out how rarely Johnson was in the team facilities.

Any one of those things should have been enough for the Lakers to cut ties completely, but after all that and then Johnson potentially hurting the Lakers’ chances at piecing together quite possibly the best big three ever seen, there is simply no reason to have him around any longer. I’ll put this in terms Magic might understand:

Johnson’s legacy as one of the greatest players ever to wear a Lakers uniform is unquestionable. What he’s done away from the court both in the business world and in AIDS and HIV awareness is similarly beyond reproach.

But as an executive, he might go down as one of the worst ever, and his time in that role and his actions immediately after should be a black mark on his professional basketball resumé moving forward.

Leonard valued trust as highly as any characteristic from any prospective teams he might join, if not highest of all. Johnson brought the Lakers’ trustworthiness into question first by alleging backstabbing, and then by leaking information about his meeting with Leonard’s camp.

The only person leaking that information served was Magic, so he put his own perception ahead of what was in the best interests of the team he was there representing. It falls in line with all his other actions since first positioning himself to take over for Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak in the first place. Yes, he cares about the Lakers. He seems to care about himself more.

So, fine. He’s made it easy for Jeanie Buss and the rest of the franchise to move on. He can focus on his businesses and Twitter account, and the Lakers can focus on what’s best for the Lakers. Since his retirement, that’s never been Magic Johnson. That much is pretty clear.

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