Silence, power struggle: Fallout from Magic Johnson's Lakers exit

Florence Fletcher
April 14, 2019

The Lakers franchise are still reeling from Johnson announcing he will be stepping down as the president moments before their final game of the season last night. "I had more fun on the other side".

The summer of 2018 brought what many believed would be a reversal of fortunes. "The brothers were outstanding as well, working with Jesse and Joey (Buss)". Doc Rivers has proven to be able to get as much out of his team as possible, even after the exodus of talent they experienced.

Buss' easiest path would be a promotion for Pelinka, the scripture-quoting GM who favors tight suits and long-winded, folksy stories. Nor did Johnson hire Pelinka to work under him.

That is, obviously, not good news for the 39-year-old Walton.

Johnson said he was preparing to fire Walton on Wednesday until he decided he couldn't do it to Walton, another one of Buss' favorite people. In response, Green praised their versatility and depth, saying this is one of the most talented group of players he's "been with in a while". "This is better for his life and that's what he wants to do, and [I] support [him] 100 percent". Lamb is coming off a career-best season that included three game-winning shots (one of them the 50-foot heave in Toronto).

The three-time All-Star point guard is expected to be a hot commodity when free agency opens July 1.

With the Lakers just finishing another dismal season, a lot of folks figured Johnson's decision had to do with team coach Luke Walton 's future. Magic's primary goal was the acquisition of another star to play alongside LeBron, and his midseason pursuit of Anthony Davis caused upheaval in the Lakers' locker room.

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Off the court there have been rumors that some elite National Basketball Association free agents don't want to come play with LeBron, either as a Laker or as a member of the cast of the movie 'Space Jam 2.' Giannis Antetokounmpo was one of those who said he would pass on being in the movie.

"It's all love in LA", McGee said.

76ERS: Joel Embiid's achy left knee may stop him from playing in Philadelphia's playoff opener. The obvious choice to many was former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, who was at the helm for Cleveland's 2016 NBA Championship season.

Featuring a coaching staff that assumed they'd be fired after the final game of the season, a newly empowered general manager who is hated across the league, and an owner who wants to run the biggest organization in basketball like a family business, the Lakers are in awful shape going into this offseason, starkly contrasting Philly's prospects.

And if Leonard wasn't in lockdown mode through every minute of every game defensively, the NBA's defensive player of the year in 2015 and 2016 still averaged almost two steals a game and won enough games with jaw-dropping defensive plays during crunch time that it seems like there's a switch he can flip when needed.

James averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists during his first season with the Lakers but the team failed to make the playoffs. He scored 11 points in just over the final two minutes of the first quarter.

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