Magic Johnson accuses Pelicans of “bad faith” and recognizes “interest” for Simmons

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Magic Johnson accuses Pelicans of "bad faith" and recognizes "interest" for Simmons Former Los Angeles Lakers player Magic Johnson. EFE / Archive

 The legendary ex-base Magic Johnson, current president of operations of the Los Angeles Lakers, spoke for the first time of the “failure” he reaped as a leader in the attempt to get the transfer of center Anthony Davis, of the New Orleans Pelicans, whom he accused of act in “bad faith”

However, Johnson, who accompanied the team this Sunday, in Philadelphia, where the Lakers suffered another humiliating defeat by losing 143-120 to the Sixers, said that everything had been left behind and he had asked the players involved in the same. “failed” transfer attempt.

Johnson arrived in Philadelphia on Sunday after attending a meeting with the NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion of Michigan State 1979, which on Saturday held, in East Lansing (Michigan), the 40th anniversary of his victory.

Magic Johnson, who was willing to give all the young people values ​​that the team has in exchange for Davis, admitted that those involved had not experienced the best experience, but first of all they were professionals and they had to assimilate that this is how they are made. business within professional sport in the United States.

The winner of five NBA titles was categorical in accepting that what happened could not be changed and therefore it was best to look to the future, although he was also very “aware” of the repercussions that could be generated within the young workforce.

On the part of responsibility that could have the general manager of the Pelicans, Dell Demps, and the vice president of the team executive Mickey Loomis, a man seasoned in the world of the National Football League (NFL) with the Saints of New Orleans, so that the transfer would not happen, Johnson was categorical when saying “everything”.

In addition, Johnson went further when he gave a resounding “no” to the specific question if both leaders of the Pelicans had acted in good faith before the deadline for the closing of transfers, last Thursday.

He also rejected that the behavior of the Lakers with their players was “unfair” when it came to knowing in public the packages they offered for trying to get Davis.
“It’s the way it’s negotiated in the NBA and we’re talking about real professionals, not babies, and they know it, I know, everyone knows,” Johnson told reporters. “Now all we have to do is move forward to achieve the goal of being in the playoffs.”

In addition, Johnson reiterated that the great objective that the team has and maintains firmer than ever is to return to get a title of NBA champions.

In this sense he is convinced that this summer when the free agent market opens, which he considered would be full of talent, he had no doubt that they will get the star player they need and seek to join forces with forward LeBron James .

Johnson was “pleased” with the changes the team made after sending the rookie forward Svi Mykhailiuk of Ukraine, the Detroit Pistons for Reggie Bullock and exchanging Croatian center Ivicia Zubac and forward Michael Beasley for the wing. center Mike Muscala with his Clippers neighbors.

The manager of the Lakers confirmed that he had spoken with all the players of the team and that they were on the same page to fight to reach the playoffs, something that the Lakers have not achieved since 2013, something that he recognized “excited” him when he thought about it.

From there, he said that it was important for the team that everyone within the organization should focus their efforts on reaching that goal.

“I do not want them to focus on other things,” Johnson said. “What happened to those names that were mentioned, all that, that’s over, that was Thursday, this is now, everybody has to buckle up and we must move forward.”

He also reiterated that the Lakers, as a dynasty team, will “always” be involved in rumors of possible transfers and conversations with other franchises, as well as being part of the reality that occurs in all other professional leagues of the NFL, NBA, NHL and baseball in the big leagues.

Johnson also had no problem answering the question about what he thought of the Sixers star base, Australian Ben Simmons, and admitted that last summer, the player tried to communicate with him through the Lakers.
The manager of the Los Angeles team admitted that he “liked” the style of play very much, very similar to his, but that before attempting any kind of meeting or conversation he told him that if the NBA and the Sixers agreed to it, then for him there would be no problem, but otherwise it would not happen, and so it happened.

Neither the NBA nor the Sixers have wanted to comment on Johnson’s statement and his possible meeting with Simmons. (EFE).

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