Magic Gonna Magic

Lakers gonna Laker.

Jim Rome
May 21, 2019 - 10:16 am
Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka

USA Today

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There is a phrase that gets used a lot and you probably know the pattern: something being something or something gonna something. Like Manny being Manny. Or Jets gonna Jet. And at times, it gets overused. But there are also times where it’s really the only way to describe what is happening.

And one of those times is when Magic Johnson goes on national television and takes an absolute flamethrower to the Lakers.

Magic being Magic and Lakers gonna Laker. That’s the only way to explain what happened yesterday when Earvin Johnson went on ESPN.

Right when it appeared things were settling down, Erv went all Erv on their asses all over again, showing up on first take and crying about Rob Pelinka backstabbing him and talking junk behind his back about how he doesn’t work hard enough and is never at the office. And no clones, no truth to the rumor that Pelinka went to his plastic surgeon and said, “gimme the Rob Lowe.”  So stop with that imbecility; stick to the imbecility that was Erv, lighting the franchise that he professes to love so much, on fire. The day they introduced their new head coach … welcome to the party, Frank Vogel!

Anyway, back to Tragic..  this is the same Trag who quit on the Lakers without telling anyone last month. The same Magic Johnson that says he loves Jeanie Buss like a sister, but told the media he was quitting before he told her because, well, because he’s Magic. And that’s just Magic’s just being Magic. That’s just the kind of crap he pulls. Why does he pull that crap? Why did he go on national tv to drop a bomb on the franchise he says he loves? The same reason anyone does anything, they can. And especially Magic; the Lakers have enabled him to pull this type of crap off the floor for years. 

Oh lest we forget he quit one of the most iconic jobs in sports, a job that he was NOT built for…and should have never been given in the first place…and the job with the organization that he allegedly loves like a family so that he could tweet congratulations to Russell Westbrook, but not before … he said that the Lakers plan was working – LeBron arrived last summer and that the next step was to land another premium free agent this year.

And with free agency about to open in a few weeks, this is what Magic wants all those free agents to know about the Lakers:

- GM Rob Pelinka is a backstabber

- There are two other Buss brothers who you’ve never really heard of, but they apparently want more power

- GM Rob Pelinka is a backstabber

- There are too many cooks in the kitchen

- GM Rob Pelinka is a backstabber

- The Chief Operating Officer is trying to get too involved in basketball operations

- And finally, GM Rob Pelinka is a backstabber

I would read you the quotes from Magic, but as usual, they are a confusing word salad, although this one is pretty clear: "If you are going to talk betrayal, it's only with Rob."

Got it. So the guy who is going on TV and torching his allegedly beloved team on tv is talking about betrayal?

That’s rich. I will give Magic one thing – there are too many cooks in the kitchen. And most of them can’t even work a microwave. That seems pretty evident. He’s right about that.

But about that betrayal, apparently Magic was bent that he was hearing things about his work ethic. And he thought that was coming from Rob: "I start hearing, 'Magic, you are not working hard enough. Magic's not in the office.’ People around the Lakers office were telling me Rob was saying things, Rob Pelinka, and I didn't like those things being said behind my back, that I wasn't in the office enough. So I started getting calls from my friends outside of basketball saying those things now were said to them outside of basketball now, just not in the Lakers office anymore."

That’s hilarious, so you quit because the guy working beneath you said you weren’t working hard enough. You quit because he said it? Or you quit because it wasn’t true.  Because it absolutely was true. It wasn’t a secret that Magic wasn’t putting in the hours of a usual NBA exec. That was known. That was a fact. Nobody needed Rob Pelinka to say that. That’s like claiming that Rob Pelinka is backstabbing because he’s saying the sun is going to come up tomorrow.

And if Pelinka was saying it it’s probably because Trag himself said it.

He said that when Jeanie approached him about the job, “I said, ‘Listen, I can’t give up all my businesses’ I make more money doing that than becoming the president of the Lakers.’ ‘You know I’m going to be in and out, is that OK with you.’ She said yes. I said, ‘do I have the power to make the decisions.’ Because that was important for me to take the job as well. She said you have the power to make the decisions.”

Let me get this straight. When Jeanie came to you about being president of the Lakers, you said “I’m going to be in and out, is that okay with you” and now you’re claiming that Rob Pelinka betrayed you and stabbed in the back because he said you were in and out of the office. The thing that demanded before taking the job. A job Jeannie Buss should have never given you in the first place??

I’m not sure what part of that is more insane – the idea that you wanted to run an NBA team as a part-time job or that Jeanie signed off on it. I’m not sure who looks worse: you wanting the title and paycheck but not the responsibility, or Jeannie say cool, Trag, you just do you. No wonder everyone around the league is laughing at the Lakers; this is the like the funniest bleep ever. The ShowTime Lakers were never this cool. Never this entertaining. 

How could the alleged greatest Laker ever known any less about the business of basketball. Let me get this straight, Erv, you were going to run down Bob Meyers, Steve Kerr and the Warriors while working a few days a week? You think Neil Olshey or Sam Presti or Daryl Morey are “going to be in and out” because they’ve got other businesses they’re working on? No wonder Pelinka was bent that you weren’t around.

And best of all was Erv telling the LA Times, yes, when I talked about being stabbed in the back initially but didn’t say who it was, I was talking about Pelinka, “So that’s who I was talking about when I said backstabber. Just you got to be a stand-up guy, a stand up person. If you got a problem with me or something I’m doing, just come and tell me.”  Right. Just like you told Jeannie Buss you were going to quit before you did it. Just like you told LeBron, the guy you signed, you were going to quit before you did it. Because that’s was a stand-up guy does. He looks the people around him in the eye and has the hard conversation. Oh, that’s right, you didn’t any of that. You told the media you were quitting before you told your boss. Before you told the face of the franchise that you brought in and signed to a four year deal. And you on national TV crying about betrayal as you take a blowtorch to the team you allegedly love on the day they’re introducing their new head coach. Trag, there’s a word to describe that. Actually a few.  Hypocritical.  Myopic. And most of all TRAGIC.

Again, what the hell were you looking to accomplish by showing up the way you did yesterday. 

If you were hoping that media circus was going to clear your name, it didn’t. That was embarrassing, and selfish as hell

Magic was save his own rep even if it meant burning the organization he allegedly loves to the ground. 

Jeanie looks bad for hiring him and agreeing to such a ridiculous employment plan. And for having Linda Rambis right below Tragic on the org chart.

And the Lakers as an organization look terrible that all of this happened on the day that they were introducing their new head coach.

Magic gonna Magic. Lakers gonna Laker.