Pelinka calls Magic's accusation of backstabbing 'disheartening'
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The soap opera plot is thickening in La La land.

Hours after Magic Johnson slammed his former Los Angeles Lakers colleague Rob Pelinka in an ESPN interview, Pelinka was on a podium Monday introducing Frank Vogel as the team's new head coach.

The general manager expressed shock at Johnson's claim that Pelinka's backstabbing contributed to the former president's resignation last month.

"Truly, it's saddening and disheartening to think he believes things that are a misperception," Pelinka told reporters. "I think all of us in life have been through things where maybe there's third-party whispers or he said, she said things that aren't true."

On ESPN's "First Take" Monday, Johnson said that while working for the Lakers, he heard accounts of Pelinka bad mouthing him.

"People around the Lakers' office were telling me, 'Rob was saying things,'" he said.

Johnson also said people warned him about Pelinka.

"When I took the job, you know how many agents called me, and said, 'You got to watch out for him?'" he added.

Johnson's assertions confused Pelinka, who said he just spoke to Magic two days ago.

"I have talked to him several times since he decided to step away, we've had many joyful conversations," he said. "In fact, two days ago we were reliving the (draft) combine and the fourth pick, talking about the great future this franchise has, so things are surprising to hear, and disheartening. But I look forward to the opportunity to talk with him and sit down and work through them."

Pelinka hadn't logged any NBA front-office experience when he was hired as Lakers GM under Johnson in 2017. He was previously a high-powered agent for players such as Kobe Bryant and James Harden.

Pelinka calls Magic's accusation of backstabbing 'disheartening'
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