John­son says talks weren’t in good faith

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Sports -

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.”

Mav­er­icks

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.

Pac­ers

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.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Kyle Kuzma, the sub­ject of trade talks, had 39 points for the Lak­ers in a loss to the 76ers Sun­day.

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