Los Angeles Times

Who's making the decisions for the Lakers? It's complicated

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Lakers called a news conference Monday to introduce their new coach. But what Frank Vogel had to say was minimized hours before he ever uttered a word.

Magic Johnson eviscerated Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka in particular, and the Lakers' power structure in general, in comments he made on the ESPN show "First Take" and again in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in the hours leading up to the media event.

Johnson cited "backstabbing and whispering" among the reasons he resigned as the Lakers' president of basketball operations last month. Monday morning, he identified Pelinka as "who I was talking about when I said backstabber."

The Lakers icon, a perennial All-Star in his playing days, also criticized Jeanie Buss, the team's controlling owner, saying she was allowing too many people to influence her decision making.

"If the Lakers are going to be successful from here on out - and this is really crucial - first, Jeanie can't be emotionally tied to

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