NBA Analyst: Lakers Are "A Toxic Franchise"

Sign stars in free agency? The Lakers might struggle to get meetings this summer, Brian Geltzeiler says

Taz and the Moose
May 21, 2019 - 10:21 am
Jeanie Buss Lakers

USA Today Images


Magic Johnson stepped down as Lakers president of basketball operations last month. He didn’t step down because of a single person or event. Rather, it was an accumulation of backstabbing, dysfunction and disarray.

How should the Lakers feel today? Not great.

“Well, obviously they made Magic Johnson angry – and I don’t just mean Rob Pelinka,” SiriusXM NBA Radio and NBA TV analyst Brian Geltzeiler said on Taz & The Moose. “I mean they made Magic Johnson angry enough that he wants to make sure he pulls the veil back on all of this dysfunction. Magic has made no bones about the fact that when he took this job, he was told he had full autonomy. Well, he really didn’t have full autonomy and Jeanie Buss has her little committee there of basketball experts – and some are basketball experts and some aren’t – and she wants to get a consensus on pretty much every move that she makes.”

That, however, is borderline impossible, especially at this level.

“Magic made a very good point,” Geltzeiler said. “You can’t run a corporation this way. This isn’t a mom-and-pop shop; this is a billion-dollar business. It’s very hard to understand what Jeanie is after here. She’s kind of trying to please a whole lot of people, and the reality is that she’s continuing to make mistake after mistake after mistake. Get somebody that knows how to run a basketball organization, put them in charge, forget about who’s a member of the Laker Family, and then just let that happen and let them do their job. But that’s not happening here and this is filled with dysfunction.”

The Lakers are one of the most storied franchise in all of sport. But they’ve missed the playoffs six years in a row and have botched seemingly every major move since acquiring LeBron James. Maybe Anthony Davis or some other star comes to the rescue in free agency, but then again, maybe they don’t.

“It’s a glory franchise, but it’s also a really toxic franchise,” Geltzeiler said. “I don’t know that they’re going to be able to do what they plan on doing in free agency. There’s some major players that may not even give them meetings, and when you think about the fact that they have a max slot and LeBron James and all these assets on their team and a guy could walk in there, a big-time player, and that could be a great situation from moment one – that’s not going to happen. . . . They do things so different than everybody else, and there’s a reason they don’t have a basketball person in charge of what’s going on. Rob Pelinka is in that GM role, and he’s not in charge of any of it.”

Click below to listen to Geltzeiler’s interview in its entirety.