Magic Johnson

USA Today

Erv Strikes Again!

Either Magic didn’t get the memo, or just didn’t give a damn.

July 24, 2019 - 11:03 am

By now, Laker fans are coming to terms with the fact that Kawhi Leonard did not sign with them and instead signed with Clippers. And it’s left Laker fans who were so confident about Kawhi joining LeBron and AD wondering what and how the hell that could have happened?

Well, try this on for size, Laker Fan. From the outset, Kawhi and his uncle, Dennis Robertson, made it clear that they valued secrecy and privacy in this decision. Not that they actually needed to tell anyone that; if you know anything about Kawhi, and you know no one values their privacy for than this dude. But in the event any team wanting to sign him hadn’t been paying attention, they wanted to make that very clear. That privacy, is extremely important to them. Because without it, there’s no trust and if there’s no trust, he ain’t coming. 

Either Magic didn’t get the memo, or just didn’t give a damn. Because while Kawhi and his team valued privacy, Erv valued letting everyone know even though he was no longer working for the Lakers, he was still part of the process. Which is why he told the LA Times that he spoke to Kawhi and Uncle Dennis, and told ESPN that a friend called and said Leonard wanted to meet with him. Hope that was worth it, Erv. Hope making it about you was worth it, because it may have cost the Lakers any shot they had at getting Kawhi. 

A person involved in the process told Jovan Buha and Sam Amick that: “I truly believe that when Magic started telling the media about the meeting he had with Kawhi and Dennis, that sealed the fate of the Lakers. I think that right there was when Dennis and Kawhi decided we can’t trust the Lakers as an organization. And that was it. I think that was it for them.”

My man, Erv!! Strikes again! The guy hasn't been team president in months and he's still somehow finding ways to bury the franchise he professes to love. Incredible. 

Now… did Magic telling the media about talking with Kawhi cost the Lakers Kawhi?  That’s not entirely clear. And I’m not saying necessarily that it did. I’m saying it sure as hell didn’t help them. 

And everyone knows that. Hell Even Magic has to know that.

Nobody knew anything about this process except for one thing: Kawhi and Uncle Dennis wanted it to be private.

Yet, there’s ol Erv running his mouth, telling multiple media outlets about everything. I’m just shocked that he didn’t Periscope the conversation he had with Kawhi.

So why do that? Why do the one thing that Kawhi told everyone not to do? Was he actively trying to sabotage the Lakers chances of getting Kawhi? Or can he just not help himself? Either. Or both. And neither answer is good.

And look, let’s be one hundred percent honest and clear about this: nobody really knows what makes Kawhi tick or why he does what he does. So maybe he was never going to join the Lakers. Maybe he was just stringing them along so that they’d wait for him and by the time he made his decision, there would be no big time free agents left.

All of that might be true. But it is also one hundred percent true that Magic immediately telling ESPN and the LA Times about his communications with the most private person on the planet was a horrible idea.

And by the way, check the dates on those reports. Here’s a tweet from Ramona Shelbourne:

Johnson says “A friend of mine called and says Kawhi wants to meet with you,” Johnson told ESPN. “I said no problem. I’m available if that’s what this man wants.

“But I got a great life.  I’m not trying to mess with anybody’s job.”

That tweet was on June 28th. Two days before the start of free agency, ALLEGEDLY. And Magic is already telling secrets out of school.

The game hasn’t even started, SUPPOSEDLY, and Magic is already shooting on the wrong basket and telling everyone.

What a total look-at-me moment.

And he wasn’t done.

Brad Turner of the LA Times tweeted on June 30th: Magic Johnson said he has spoken to Kawhi Leonard and his uncle, Dennis Robertson, today after being contacted by Leonard's group. Magic said no meeting no been set to meet with Leonard and Magic yet.

What an absolute legend. Free agency hasn’t even officially started and he’s already given updates on the process to two different media outlets. Live-blogging didn’t want any of that, Magic?

Again, June 30th, the day that free agency is supposed to start and Magic is already telling the LA Times that he spoke with Kawhi and his uncle that day. And giving details about the conversation like the fact that they haven’t set up a face-to-face meeting yet.

He is the best. The absolute best. How long do you think he waited between the end of the meeting with Kawhi and Uncle Dennis before telling the LA Times?

Five minutes? Five seconds?

I’m surprised he didn’t just conference the media into the call with Kawhi. Or do it at a podium from that Laker’s facility. Or hop on Twitch to broadcast it. Maybe do an Instagram story.

And he didn’t even ask to be referred to as “source” or “a source close to the matter.” He just flat out went as Magic Johnson.

Make sure you get that name right. It’s Magic, M-A-G-I-C. Last name, Johnson, J-O-H-N-S-O-N.

Magic Johnson was probably wearing a Magic Johnson jersey while he spoke with the media about the thing he wasn’t supposed to talk to the media about.

The guy quit being an NBA executive so that he could tweet to other players, of course he was going to tell everyone about the meeting with Kawhi and Uncle Dennis. I’m sure Kawhi and Uncle Dennis knew that.

Magic bailed on the organization he loved and Jeanie Buss, who he loves like a sister, so he could tweet congratulations to Russell Westbrook when Russ goes for 20, 20, and 20. You think that guy isn’t going to tell everyone everything about a private conversation he has with the biggest free agent of the summer?

Asking him to keep a secret is like asking him to approach his former job as team president like a full-time job - it's just not happening. 

And the best part is: this is a guy who quit without telling anyone. He didn’t tell Jeanie Buss that he was quitting. He told the media that he was quitting.

You’re telling me that guy was not going to tell the media when he had any sort of conversation with Kawhi’s team? HELL NO.

He couldn’t bear the idea of meeting with Kawhi and company without everyone knowing that he had met with Kawhi and company.

Not only that, but he didn’t have the conversation he should’ve had with Jeanie and did have a conversation he shouldn’t have had with the media about Kawhi. He doesn’t talk when you’re supposed to talk and does talk when you aren’t.

That is awesome. And outstanding. I could not love this whole thing any more than I do.

Magic Johnson the player is one of the greatest to ever do it. He could do everything on the floor and completely destroy whatever plans the opponents had.

Magic Johnson the NBA executive will do everything off the floor to completely destroy whatever plans his own team has. Magic Johnson is the Magic Johnson of horrible executives.