Former Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson was the subject of an incredibly deep, troubling report by Baxter Holmes of ESPN on Tuesday morning.
Among the allegations in the report, Johnson is said to have “berated staffers, including (Luke) Walton and created an in-house culture that many current and former longtime staffers said marginalized their colleagues, inspired fear and led to feelings of anxiety severe enough that at least two staffers suffered panic attacks.”
On Tuesday evening, Johnson was on the set of ESPN to defend himself against the allegations that he created a culture that inspired fear.
Johnson says he was never brought into the Lakers Human Resources Department at any time, and that he never has in all his years. He said he’s never abused his employees, and that he never would. Additionally, Johnson defended accusations that he was lazy.
When it came to what he wished he could have done differently, Johnson said, “I would’ve hired my own people from the beginning. Rob and I got put together. I inherited Luke Walton. I didn’t get to hire my own people,” per Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report.
Clearly, Johnson is hitting back hard against the notion that he was abusive or that his work habits had anything to do with how things fell apart with the Lakers. The one thing everyone can agree on is that things ended poorly for Johnson in Los Angeles, and that the entire organization is a mess these days.