Magic Johnson went on national television and accused Rob Pelinka of betrayal.
One season later, and the Lakers are NBA champions.
I still have such gratitude for the two seasons I got to work with Earvin, and he’s definitely a part of tonight with his vision and working side by side. He’s an unbelievable person, and we have a great, incredibly strong relationship. He was one of the first calls tonight. Had a great talk with him.
Rob Pelinka really made me feel good tonight reaching out after the Lakers won the NBA Championship. It means the world to me because I know he’s in the middle of celebrating with all of the Lakers players, coaches, and Jeanie Buss he didn’t have to!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 12, 2020
As team president, Johnson positioned the Lakers to get LeBron James then completely flubbed building around LeBron. After Johnson resigned, Pelinka – the Lakers’ general manager – did a far better job surrounding LeBron with talent, especially completing the Anthony Davis trade.
The front-office partnership, as messy as it was, proved incredibly effective.
Now, the rift appears over. This is partially a case of winning curing most ills, partially a case of Johnson loving life and the Lakers too much to hold a grudge.