Magic Johnson is firing back at critics following allegations he bullied staff members while serving as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, some staffers claimed Johnson, who recently resigned from his position with the Lakers, “used intimidation and bullying as a way of showing authority.” He was seen as confrontational and often times utilized “a threatening tone” when questioned, according to one report.
Johnson pushed back against those claims Tuesday on ESPN’s ‘SportsCenter,’ claiming he’s never had to see human resources about a reported issue in his 35 years as a professional.
“Do you think Jeanie Buss will allow me to abuse the employees?” he said. “If that was the case, she would have called me in. Joe McCormack would have called me in, the lawyer for the Lakers, as well as Dan, the other lawyer. It never happened. I’m a person who brings everybody together, uplift the employees. I’ve never abused an employee and I never will. That’s not what I’m about.”
Magic went on to defend his actions as the Lakers’ former president.
“Now a lot of Laker employees didn’t like that I held them accountable. That’s what my job was,” added Johnson. “Did I have to fire some people? Yes, because we had to bring about change and get better. I think we got a great staff. I’ll say this right now: The Lakers got a great staff. What’s gotta happen now is we gotta get out the news. I’m really upset that I’m here talking about that.”
(You can hear his full comments here.)
Sounds like this divorce is going swimmingly.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images