"Listen, this guy is special", Johnson said of James, whose first season with the Lakers was sidetracked by a groin injury that cost him 17 consecutive games in the middle of the season.
Johnson said agents contacted him and warned him to "watch out for" Pelinka.
It didn't work out for Johnson or Demps, who was sacked after the trade deadline.
"Things got going in the right direction". Then I started hearing, "Magic, you're not working hard enough". "That I wasn't in the office enough and on and on". So I started getting calls from my friends outside of basketball and those things were said to them outside of basketball. "Now it's in the media and so on".
Johnson said during his initial resignation press conference that he was exhausted of the backstabbing that goes on in the National Basketball Association. The NBA great confirmed on ESPN's "First Take" that he received pushback regarding his decision to fire former head coach Luke Walton and said he felt backstabbed by general manager Rob Pelinka.
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"The straw that broke the camel's back was I wanted to fire Luke Walton", Johnson said. "And what's insane was-you know when I took the job how many agents called me and said, 'you gotta watch out for him'". From the Lakers staying extremely quiet to the team's interesting coaching search that led to former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue ending contract negotiations, these latest comments by Johnson certainly do not help them to begin the offseason. Tim wanted to keep him because he was friends with Luke. And so when I looked up and said, 'Wait a minute, I only really answer to Jeanie Buss.' Now, I got Tim involved and I said it's time for me to go. And I said, "Listen, we gotta get a better coach.' I like him". I don't have the power I thought I had to make decisions.
"I told them, when it's not fun for me, when I think that I don't have the decision-making power that I thought I had, then I've got to step aside".
Since Johnson's resignation, owner Jeanie Buss and company have been heavily criticized.
When negotiating his job requirements with team controlling owner Jeannie Buss, Johnson said he made it clear to her that he still needed to deal with his other business interests and that he wanted final say on personnel decisions.
"Then, I had to monitor the brothers - Joey and Jesse, the Buss Brothers - wanted more involvement, more power".
Though he said the backstabbing came from only Pelinka, Johnson clearly had friction with other members of the organization. "Jeanie's gotta stop that. there's too many people at the table".