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Lakers Management Accidentally Sent Emails to Magic Johnson That Contributed to His Departure - Report

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Magic Johnson abruptly resigned on the final day of the Lakers’ regular season, and more details are coming out as to what may have contributed to his departure.

There had always been rumors of a rift among various combinations of Johnson, GM Rob Pelinka, majority owner Jeanie Buss and then-coach Luke Walton.

Now those rumors are becoming a little more than that, as Ric Bucher of FS1 reported that Johnson was accidentally copied on emails between Buss and Pelinka that were highly critical of Johnson’s performance.

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“My understanding is that there were some emails that were exchanged between Rob and Jeanie … about Magic and about what Magic was and wasn’t doing,” Bucher said.

“They were critical emails. And somehow, some way — Jeanie, from what I understand, was CCing or blind CCing Magic on everything. That was sort of protocol, standard issue. Somehow, the exchange between Rob and Jeanie ended up on that string of the blind CCs that were going to Magic. So, Magic now is seeing emails from Rob to Jeanie that were critical of what he was doing.”

Colin Cowherd said that Johnson was often away from the Lakers and doing things “that celebrities do.” Pelinka would also openly joke about Johnson not being around, and according to Bucher, Buss never took a stand to defend Johnson in the emails.

“And maybe most important in all this is that there was no indication that Jeanie was backing Rob up in terms of either going to Magic and letting him know that this was going on or going back at Rob and defending Magic,” Bucher said.

Do you think the Lakers will fare better without Magic Johnson?

“That was not happening. And so when he talked about the backstabbing, to me, my understanding is that’s what started it. And the fact that Jeanie waved goodbye and said, ‘Thank you for all that you did,’ was that she didn’t necessarily disagree with what Rob was saying.”

When Johnson stepped down as president of basketball operations, one of the reasons he cited was that he couldn’t tweet out congratulations or support to non-Lakers, as it could be considered tampering.

Well, Johnson no longer has that Twitter restriction and he sent out a tweet on Thursday that was cryptic in nature and implied that there was more to develop regarding his departure from the Lakers.

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Johnson’s tweet then garnered a clever response from the NBC Sports Chicago Bulls account.

There are sure to be more details to come regarding Johnson’s exit from the Lakers, but this isn’t a good look for the organization and Jeanie Buss — especially since she already has an embarrassing email exchange on her resume.

Just a few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times published emails between Buss and Madison Square Garden Co. official Irving Azoff in which Buss mocked the Clippers and their owner Steve Ballmer.

Buss referred to Ballmer as “Ballz” throughout the exchange and said she would do to him the same as she did to her brothers, Jim and Johnny, when she forced their resignations.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
Location
Houston, Texas
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
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