Johnson says talks weren’t in good faith
Magic Johnson has no regrets about the public nature of his conversations with New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps during the past two weeks, as the Los Angeles Lakers tried to trade for Anthony Davis.
Johnson believes his players are professional enough to handle hearing their names in trade rumors.
“Quit making this about thinking these guys are babies, because that’s what you’re treating them like,” said Johnson, the Lakers’ president of basketball operations. “They’re professionals. All of them. This is how this league works. They know it, I know it.
“They get paid to do a job. We’re all professionals. I’ve been in this league 40 years. A lot of players got traded Thursday. Guess what’s gonna happen next year? A lot of players will get traded.”
Johnson was asked if he thought the negotiation with New Orleans was a good faith negotiation.
“No,” Johnson said. “We knew that basically at the end of the day what happened happened. And we knew that when we first started. In terms of what happened. But hey, it is what it is.”
Luka Doncic was summoned back to the court for a very brief speech to a group of about 100 Slovenians who made the 24-hour trek to see their countryman, the teenage rookie sensation, play for Dallas. The bigger thrill for the visitors came a little earlier when Doncic helped engineer a fourth-quarter comeback against the playoff-contending Portland Trail Blazers. Doncic scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth as the Mavericks erased a 15-point deficit in the final 10 minutes for a 102-101 victory Sunday. “I don’t normally play him the whole quarter, but when we began to make the push early in the fourth it was just one those times where he was going to have to finish for us to have a chance,” said coach Rick Carlisle.
Indiana health officials said people who had contact with a bat last week during an Indiana Pacers game have possibly been exposed to rabies. The Indiana State Department of Health said anyone who touched the bat with bare skin when it flew around at the Pacers game Thursday in Indianapolis is urged to contact the department or a health care provider about receiving rabies vaccinations. The game was against the Los Angeles Clippers. The department said the rabies status of the bat, which is no longer inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, is unknown. Health officials said a person is considered potentially exposed to rabies only if direct contact occurs. So far there have been no reports of anyone having direct contact with the bat.
Kyle Kuzma, the subject of trade talks, had 39 points for the Lakers in a loss to the 76ers Sunday.