In a perplexing move, the Lakers owner says AD trade reports were “fake news” and fractured team chemistry.
A recent conversation between Lakers owner and President Jeanie Buss and her billionaire friends while vacationing on a private yacht destined for some island that none of us have ever heard of, probably went something like this:
That’s what she finally did on Saturday at the MIT/ Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston. Buss didn’t just try to strategically calm the rocky waters in LA and sooth the fan and media chaos engulfing the team. She outright lied. She denied that her team ever was planning to trade away the “entire roster” for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis last month, calling those reports “fake news.”
“The biggest challenge for (us is) the ‘fake news’ about how we were supposedly trading our entire roster for a certain player, which is completely not true,” Buss said at a panel discussion at the event, via ESPN. “But those stories leak out and it hurt our young players. It wasn’t fair. (Lakers president Magic Johnson) got in front of that, and I think we’re back on the right track. Hopefully, that will allow us to make a playoff push coming up here.”
With all due respect, does this lady think we’re idiots? With one ill-advised comment, she just disparaged the entire sports media family as frauds. This includes the inside reporters who speak to team officials, work closely with the team and follow trade talks obsessively.
With LeBron’s Lakers faltering at 30-32 and in 10th place in the West with 20 games left in the season, the city and franchise is in full panic mode. We haven’t heard a peep from Magic Johnson since the Davis trade fell through. The charismatic, media friendly Hall of Fame executive was given the keys to the kingdom. Lately, he’s been on the low, licking his wounds in the aftermath of the AD debacle.
Buss says she wants Magic to stay front and center, despite the rough season and alleged “fake news.”
“He’s a very personable guy, and when he does interviews, he likes to say too much because that’s who he is,” Buss said, via ESPN. “But he’s evolved as an executive. He knows what he needs to do now. We want Magic out there. We don’t want him to not be himself and not be the face of the franchise because he is.”
Looking for the ultimate way to spin this narrative back into a positive, Buss decided to just use President Trump’s go-to play; “It’s fake news.”
I’m sorry to say that the Lakers have represented themselves poorly in the “First Year of LeBron.” All Bron has done is complain. All Magic’s done is brag about the moves he’s going to make. All the team did was play mediocre and never developed a starting five that could win consistently.
Once they tried to unload the entire squad for AD. But the Pelicans rebuffed the trade, making the Lakers look ridiculous and thirsty.
That’s when everything in LA got worse.
Everyone knows how desperate Magic is to acquire superstars to play with LeBron. That’s not a good look for LA and doesn’t give them any leverage in trades or even free agency. I guess the media had heard enough from Magic and it was time to hear from the top dog. If Buss’ statement was the best the Lakers organization could come up with, then she needed to remain quiet as well.