SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Lakers governor and controlling proprietor Jeanie Buss mentioned she was surprised by Magic Johnson’s stunning resignation however that she has full confidence in Rob Pelinka directing Los Angeles’ basketball operations.
Talking Monday for the primary time since Johnson shocked the Lakers after which later accused Pelinka of backstabbing him, Buss mentioned the Lakers “are in a very good place” and are “on the proper path.”
“There actually wasn’t something to say,” Buss mentioned on the NBA Awards present of why she has remained quiet till now. “I feel that when Magic determined that he did not need to be with the group any longer in an official capability, that took me off guard. So I wanted time to determine what the method was going to be. That is all. Simply taking good care of enterprise and searching after the group.”
“It was a shock when Magic turned in his resignation,” Buss later added when requested concerning the notion that the Lakers have been surrounded by turmoil for many of the offseason. “I did not see that coming. However every little thing else has been just about as any group strikes ahead and modifications going into a brand new season. In order a lot as has been speculated as to what the Lakers are doing, to me, we’re in a very good place and we’re following our path, and our plan, going into the subsequent season.”
Buss has moved ahead with Pelinka, the staff’s normal supervisor, working the basketball operations. She reiterated her full confidence in Pelinka, who orchestrated a commerce in settlement with the New Orleans Pelicans for All-Star middle Anthony Davis in alternate for the fourth general choose in final week’s NBA draft, together with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. Buss and the Lakers can not touch upon the commerce till it turns into official, maybe as early as July 6.
“I’ve at all times had confidence in Rob,” Buss mentioned. “Regardless of the hypothesis that is on the market, we do not want the surface media to validate the issues that we do. I am very completely satisfied, I feel we’re on the proper path, however there’s nonetheless extra work to do.”
“There’s a whole lot of modifications, Lakers followers, be affected person,” Buss later added. “We will get there. We is not going to end till we’re all proud.”
Buss has leaned on Pelinka, Linda Rambis and Kurt Rambis on basketball choices since Johnson left. Linda Rambis, government director of particular initiatives, has been one in every of Buss’ closest confidants and most trusted advisors for the previous 4 a long time. Kurt Rambis is a senior basketball adviser who has labored intently with Pelinka.
Buss added some readability on Linda and Kurt Rambis’ roles within the group’s decision-making.
“That is what’s so attention-grabbing, as a result of they have been a part of the Lakers, surrounding me,” Buss mentioned. “Linda Rambis and I’ve labored the very same method for the final 30 years. Nothing’s modified, however for no matter purpose, it is issues that individuals need to hear about. And so they’re a part of our staff, and so they do a unbelievable job.”
Buss, who was on the NBA Awards to help each Johnson’s receiving a lifetime achievement award and former Laker Shaquille O’Neal because the present’s host, was requested about Johnson’s latest look on ESPN’s First Take when he spoke about Pelinka betraying him.
“I am unable to actually anticipate what he thinks,” mentioned Buss, who made it clear that her relationship with Johnson stays shut. “He has to reply these questions. He is at all times stuffed with surprises. Like as stunning because it was, it type of jogged my memory of again in 1981 when he requested to be traded after profitable a championship with the Lakers as a result of he wasn’t pleased with the way in which the offense had modified. And that led us to getting Pat Riley as our head coach.
“So he is acquired good instincts,” she continued. “He is acquired to remain true to who he’s and do what is true for him. I want I might’ve had slightly bit extra discover, however I feel we’re going to be simply nice.”
Johnson additionally mentioned on First Take that he can be involved in shopping for the Lakers ought to Buss ever resolve to promote.
“I’ve had in all probability 20 to 30 folks truly name and need to purchase the staff within the final 5 years,” Buss mentioned. “There’s in all probability, oh, a billion individuals who want to personal the Lakers, too. That is nothing new. It was no shock. Who would not need to personal the Lakers?”
The Lakers nonetheless have extra strikes to make in free company as Pelinka pursues extra assist for LeBron James. Buss says that the expectation coming into subsequent season is obvious for the Lakers.
“Dr. Buss set the bar excessive for the Lakers,” Buss mentioned of her father. “There’s the gold normal, after which there’s the purple-and-gold normal. Actually, we’re going to do every little thing we are able to to get the very best gamers doable and to get the Lakers again to persistently be at that stage. However we acquired a methods to go, and I feel we’re [heading] in the proper route, however on the finish of the day, we might be judged by our wins and losses.
“The objective has at all times been to get again into the playoffs.”