Report: Leak from Magic Johnson meeting hurt Lakers’ bid to sign Kawhi Leonard
Teams pursuing Kawhi Leonard were reportedly warned not to leak anything. Leonard is famously private.
Magic Johnson is, um, not.
Johnson is a blabbermouth. He kept getting the Lakers fined for tampering. He went on national television and aired the Lakers’ dirty laundry. While running the Lakers’ front office, he upset his own players with his public comments about not trading for Anthony Davis.
Cris Carter of Fox Sports 1:
All the information that leaked from Magic’s conversations with Kawhi team didn’t help the Lakers case.— Cris Carter (@criscarter80) July 6, 2019
"The Lakers made a lot of mistakes. The intel Magic Johnson let out of that meeting was a mistake. Kawhi didn't have the trust in the organization, in the front office, or in their medical staff. Kawhi just level set the league." — @criscarter80 pic.twitter.com/PV4jvc2WNb— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) July 8, 2019
It’s fun to pile on Johnson and the Lakers. But this might be a little unfair. Leonard was reportedly down on the Lakers long before meeting with Johnson. This could just be a way for someone in Leonard’s camp to cast blame elsewhere after he spurned the Lakers for the Clippers.
But the Johnson-meeting leaks could have also corroborated what Leonard thought he knew of the Lakers all along. They do a terrible job of keeping things close to the vest. Their internal business gets out and draws attention. Johnson is part of that culture.