Johnson also took the opportunity to talk about his alleged betrayal at the hands of Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka. Now [it's] not just in the Laker office anymore. "People around the Lakers office were telling me Rob was saying things, Rob Pelinka, and I didn't like those things being said behind my back, that I wasn't in the office enough". So I started getting calls from my friends outside of basketball and those things were said to them outside of basketball. "[James] has helped our young players so much", Johnson said.
Johnson - who had never worked in a front office before, didn't work hard enough running the Lakers, felt his power wasn't concentrated enough, didn't build a victor - said people should ascend in the organization only "once you show that you can drive excellence".
Johnson abruptly resigned on April 9, minutes before the team's regular-season finale, saying he hadn't told anyone - including controlling owner and team president Jeanie Buss, with whom he's close - about his decision in advance. I said, 'listen, we gotta get a better coach.
Johnson said he wanted to hire Tyronn Lue as head coach, but that Buss decided not to dismiss Walton, who ended up parting ways with the Lakers after the season ended. "I said, when I looked up, I only really answer to Jeanie Buss".
Johnson's decision to go public with his grievances is the latest drama to embroil the Lakers, whose season veered off the rails after star recruit James was injured in December.
"That's not going to happen", Johnson said on First Take. Now I have Tim involved. There are too many cooks in the Lakers kitchen, and not enough qualified to be one. He will be the Lakers' fifth permanent head coach since Phil Jackson's retirement in 2011.
"So I said 'okay, let's go do it'". He's great. Former Laker, the whole thing.
"You can't have everybody think that they can have a voice or an opinion about the final decision". "Just Rob, ' he said". What happened was I wasn't having fun coming to work anymore - especially when I've got to work beside you knowing you want my position. With Irving, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard all potentially becoming free agents, a big-market team like Los Angeles is sure to be busy, and Johnson agrees.
With the Lakers mired in controversy, there has been speculation that the Lakers should consider trading James. He wondered aloud about Pelinka's alleged behavior, primarily because Johnson said he told the GM that he planned to serve as team president for only three years, presumably clearing the way for Pelinka to ascend to that position.
Pelinka later Monday denied the report, saying Johnson's claims are "Simply not true".