The Los Angeles Lakers on Monday introduced new head coach Frank Vogel at a news conference. However, their old president made all the headlines with accusations of backstabbing by his former subordinate.
Speaking on ESPN’s “First Take,” former Lakers team president Magic Johnson said his resignation in April was the result of Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka going behind his back repeatedly to, according to Johnson, make it seem the president wasn’t working hard enough.
“Things got going in the right direction. Then I started hearing, ‘Magic, you’re not working hard enough. Magic’s not in the office,’” Johnson said on the show. “So people around the Lakers’ office was telling me Rob — Rob Pelinka — was saying things and I didn’t like this being said behind my back. That I wasn’t in the office enough and on and on.”
Pelinka later Monday denied the report, telling the Los Angeles Times that Johnson’s claims are surprising, disheartening and “simply not true.”
—The Golden State Warriors will be without the services of veteran swingman Andre Iguodala in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers because of a sore left calf, coach Steve Kerr confirmed.
Iguodala, who is averaging 10.1 points per game, 4.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists for the Warriors in the playoffs, was injured during the third quarter of Game 3 at Portland.
Iguodala, 35, played just 18 minutes in Game 3 on Saturday, scoring two points and pulling down five rebounds. The Warriors already are without Kevin Durant because of a strained right calf and DeMarcus Cousins due to a torn left quadriceps.
—The Houston Rockets’ Twitter account has been suspended, with the team blaming the action on a copyright issue.
As of Monday night, the team’s official Twitter page was still suspended, the page reading “Account suspended” with another line that read, “Twitter suspends accounts that violate the Twitter Rules.”
“Our Twitter account has been temporarily suspended due to a few prior social media posts with copyrighted music,” the Rockets’ statement read. “We are working to correct the issue now.” According to reports, several college football programs also saw their feeds suspended for the same reason.
—Ryan Saunders is set to become head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, removing the interim tag that will make the 33-year-old the NBA’s youngest bench boss. Saunders took over on Jan. 6 after owner Glen Taylor fired Tom Thibodeau.
President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas replaced Thibodeau in his front office job — Thibodeau was team president in addition to his coaching duties — but Taylor said there was no mandate to retain Saunders.
However, thanks in part to the endorsement of young stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, Rosas stuck with Saunders following a series of interviews last week.
—Tim Connelly rejected an offer to lead the Washington Wizards, ESPN reported.
Connelly, who is the president of basketball operations for the Nuggets, reportedly decided to remain in Denver. Given Connelly’s deep roots in the Washington area, the Wizards thought they had a chance to lure him east.
The Wizards’ search now could focus on three others: interim general manager Tommy Sheppard, former Cleveland and Atlanta general manager Danny Ferry, and Troy Weaver, Oklahoma City’s vice president of basketball operations.
—Field Level Media