A month ago, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said that Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss was looking to make a splash to fill the President of Basketball Operations role left vacant by Magic Johnson’s abrupt resignation. Smith added that he’s heard Pat Riley’s name mentioned as a possibility.
Riley spoke with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullin Monday — after Johnson joined First Take, the ESPN program Smith co-hosts. Johnson said that Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka betrayed him.
i cannot believe what i just watched pic.twitter.com/QsH8i0wfVh— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 20, 2019
And according to Riley, no one from the Lakers contacted him about the President of Basketball Operaitons role — one that won’t be filled.
“I have thought [about returning to the Lakers] only from a sentimental standpoint,” Riley said. “But I was never pursued by them. Nobody officially contacted me. I have about 20 friends wishing I would come back, but nobody asked.
Riley also had his own thoughts on the adversity facing the Lakers.
“But this kind of s--- goes on in organizations every day,” Riley says. “The organization gets too big, there are too many people who have been around a long time, and they start voicing their opinion about things, and that’s when the culture starts to crack.
”Maybe Earvin’s honesty will do something to get [the Lakers] thinking.”