Reacting to an ESPN report earlier Tuesday that described a toxic culture in the Los Angeles Lakers’ front office, Magic Johnson denied mistreating any employees during his stint as team president that ended last month.
“Do you think (owner) Jeanie Buss would allow me to abuse the employees? If that was the case, she would have called me in,” Johnson said in an ESPN television interview with Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon. (Chief financial officer) Joe McCormack would have called me in, the lawyer for the Lakers. … It never happened. I’m a person who brings everybody together, uplift the employees. I’ve never abused an employee, and I never will. That’s not what I’m about.”
ESPN - Report - Claim - Rich - Paul
The ESPN report included a claim that Rich Paul, the agent of Lakers star LeBron James, went directly to NBA commissioner Adam Silver to lobby for head coach Luke Walton to be fired early in the season. Walton was fired at the end of the 2018-19 regular season. Paul told Silver, per the report, that Tyronn Lue would be the ideal coach.
The ESPN report claimed Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka were often working unilaterally, including on potential trades and in free agency. Pelinka, with input from the Buss Family and advisor Kurt Rambis, is at the controls entering the 2019 offseason but James is reportedly leading the recruitment of free agents.
State - Forward - Kevin - Durant - Team
–Golden State forward Kevin Durant reportedly is traveling with the team to Toronto, indicating he could possibly return from his calf injury for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday.
The Warriors have ruled the two-time Finals MVP out for Thursday night’s series opener against the Raptors. Durant has averaged 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 11 games this postseason.
All-Star - Calf - May - Game
The 10-time All-Star injured his right calf on May 8 during Game 5 of...
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