“I thought it was telling that people in the organization, I think it was mentioned in the Spellman anecdote, that Rob will go and say to people ‘We’re making this decision and it’s because this player wants it or this agent wants it,’ and people had become so distrustful of him that they will literally go back to that player or to that agent and say ‘Hey, did this conversation ever actually happen? Did you say these things that Rob said you said? What was the context here?’ And I thought it was interesting, fact-checking the reasons behind it. But yeah, people not being on the same page, this uncertainty about how decisions were made, ‘What information were we using, is this information credible, are we even consulting with people in our organization who have first-hand experience with this particular player?’ It creates a rat’s nest of issues with respect to team-building, free agency, drafts, trades, all of it.”
In his extensive piece on the Lakers published this week, ESPN’s Baxter Holmes brought up the Pelinka-Rambis dynamic. He went into more detail about it during an appearance on “The Lowe Post” podcast: “I asked quite a bit of people: ‘Why is Linda so loyal to Rob? Why is Rob so loyal to Linda?’ And people in the organization and around the organization — deeply familiar with the Lakers — are like, ‘I’m not sure. I really don’t know, but it’s weird. And because of it, we think Rob is untouchable’ because of how much power Linda wields and how close she is to Jeanie (Buss). I would love an answer to that. I know people in the organization would love an answer to it. “There is some reason why Linda is deeply, deeply loyal to Rob. And given who she is and the power she has, people there believe that gives him — I don’t want to say invincibility — but something within that realm.”
Holmes then says while Johnson’s comment about never being called into HR may be accurate, there are reasons why complaints about him weren’t taken to HR. “When he was talking, here was my first thought, I actually thought about something that wasn’t in the story. And it was something that a staffer told me about the day that Earvin was hired, and the staffer said ‘I thought the building would have to burn down for him to lose his job.’ And it was representative of what many people say was the power, stature and deep connections that Earvin had to the Lakers and to Jeanie. And as he would display instances of confrontational behavior, demonstrative in these interactions with employees, they would say ‘I can’t stand up to him. He’s Earvin Johnson and this is the Lakers. Who am I?’ They would describe being powerless, but more to the point, they would talk about not being comfortable going to HR with these particular complaints about his behavior.
Jovan Buha: Shaq says he isn't interested in working for the Lakers because he's happy w/ the Kings, but he believes Magic + Pelinka will do a good job
Jeff Goodman: Magic and Pelinka here in Memphis scouting Lonzo, Monk and Fox -- while no sign of Phil.
Mark Medina: Luke said Pelinka and Magic are in NYC for CBA tutorials. Pelinka in touch with league about Friday's scuffle
“I really liked working with Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss; they weren’t the problem,” said Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, the former Knicks coach who resigned as Lakers head coach in April 2014 after two seasons. “When you have a superstar of the magnitude of Kobe (Bryant), and he retires. And…they had tried to make the trade for Chris Paul (in Dec. 2011 that was blocked by the NBA), and they had it, and that would’ve (kept them successful) another 10 years, and it didn’t work out."
Magic Johnson: I have high expectations for myself, this team and our organization. The @Los Angeles Lakers are about winning and I'll work hard to make that happen.
Magic Johnson: Outstanding hire by Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak to name Luke Walton as the next @Los Angeles Lakers coach!
President of basketball operations Jim Buss has said he'll step down after next season if he can't get the franchise headed in "the right direction." He has never wavered from that timeline, nor has his sister Jeanie Buss, the Lakers president, ever let up in holding him to it. General manager Mitch Kupchak's contract runs several years beyond next season, but it's hard to imagine him continuing in his role if Jim Buss were to step down.
June 30, 2022 | 3:46 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: After officially completing trade with Hawks today, the Spurs are expected to waive F Danilo Gallinari, sources tell ESPN. As a free agent, Gallinari will be able to choose among contenders in both conferences.