Los Angeles Lakers governor and controlling owner Jeanie Buss spoke publicly for the first time since Magic Johnson abruptly resigned before the club's final game of the season, admitting that his decision caught her "off guard" while expressing confidence in the team's current management.
"I didn't see that coming," Buss said prior to Monday's NBA Awards show, according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "But everything else has been pretty much as any organization moves forward and changes going into a new season. So as much as has been speculated as to what the Lakers are doing, to me, we are in a really good place and we are following our path, and our plan, going into the next season."
General manager Rob Pelinka has taken over the Lakers' basketball operations and recently executed the reported blockbuster deal for New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis. The former agent apparently had a falling out with Johnson, who accused Pelinka of "backstabbing" him shortly after leaving the Lakers.
When asked about Johnson's comments, Buss attributed them to his unpredictable nature.
"I can't really anticipate what he thinks," Buss said. "He has to answer those questions. He's always full of surprises. Like as surprising as it was, it kind of reminded me of back in 1981 when he asked to be traded after winning a championship with the Lakers because he wasn't happy with the way the offense had changed. And that led us to getting Pat Riley as our head coach.
"So he's got good instincts. He's got to stay true to who he is and do what is right for him. I wish I would've had a little bit more notice, but I think we are going to be just fine."
The Lakers finished with a 37-45 record in 2018-19 and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season.