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SportMagic Johnson says media treat young Lakers ‘like babies’

20:55  11 february  2019
20:55  11 february  2019 Source:   hoopshype.com

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka gives embattled Luke Walton vote of confidence

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Magic Johnson says media treat young Lakers ‘like babies’© File photo Getty

Before the Los Angeles Lakers were thoroughly dominated on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson went on the offensive in an attempt to mend the fences he and Klutch Sports trampled over the past two weeks.

And in the process of that, Johnson criticized the fourth estate of babying the Lakers young players who were mentioned in trade rumors for Anthony Davis, such as Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. Johnson believes that attitude does a disservice to the players, who know what they signed up for.

From ESPN's Dave McMenamin

Magic Johnson to meet with players to address deadline drama

Magic Johnson to meet with players to address deadline drama After approximately half of the players on the Lakers‘ 15-man roster were mentioned in rumored trade talks for Anthony Davis within the last week, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson intends to meet with the club this weekend in Philadelphia, reports Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. According to Turner, Johnson will talk to the players about the Davis saga and will listen to every player who wants to say something, encouraging an open dialogue so the team can move forward and focus on the task ahead for the rest of the season.

"Quit making this about thinking these guys are babies because that's what you're treating them like," Johnson said. "They're professionals. All of them. And this is how this league works. They know it, I know it - that's how it goes.

"So we've got to move forward, and we are moving forward. They played outstanding against Boston. Give them credit. And we want to play well today and continue on. This is a part of the league. You've got a good side of the business that we get paid to be professional basketball players, and there's deals like this."

While Johnson is correct that players of all caliber are often traded without a moment's notice, it does come off as pretty rich considering that Johnson, Rob Pelinka and LeBron James essentially hold the futures of all the younger Lakers in their hands.

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But at the same time, what Johnson says is not untrue. The cold truth of professional sports is that you will play in multiple places and often times players don't have a say in the matter. And the ones that do are only in a position to improve their own situations rather than worry about the greater good. That's the job of Johnson, Pelinka and Lakers ownership to get across to the team.

That Johnson is upset with members of the media have portrayed a young Lakers group shipped out of town as the victims of a power play, that doesn't mean that it isn't the truth. While they're still professionals and the stakes are relatively low for a bunch of millionaire basketball players, it was serious enough problem that there were valid questions of whether it affected their ability to do their jobs.

Johnson even flew out to the East Coast for some group therapy, so while his words were mostly about the media's part in the game of perception, it's evident that the fallout of a failed power grab is not a matter of perception.

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Magic Johnson says media treat young Lakers ‘like babies’

Pelicans beat Lakers without Anthony Davis, expertly troll Magic Johnson on Twitter.
Davis is playing the remainder of the season with restricted minutes, and the team was fresh off a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday. Yet even without their star big man, New Orleans didn’t have any problem handling LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Pelicans put up 42 points in the opening quarter, and forced 23 turnovers in the win, too. While Los Angeles mounted a brief six point lead early, that was it. New Orleans took off and led through the rest of the game, at one point grabbing a 20-point lead en route to the 13-point win.

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