There will be two sides to this debate and, frankly, neither is accurate. Magic didn’t quit on the Lakers. He and Rob did what they thought was the correct path to turning the franchise around and honestly they were one strained groin away from doing just that this season. If LeBron had not gotten hurt this would be a different tale. It’s not. But what would have not worked is Magic miserable in an executive role where he can’t do the other things he clearly enjoys doing. From the Twitter fines to the being on TV fines to not being able to work with young players like he’s always done to simply being involved in community or progressive endeavors this was probably not the right job for Magic to take from the get-go.

Jeannie is a little more responsible for this than Magic, but this is a web of many tangles. While she may not have been the one trading players or hiring coaches she certainly has a voice that she uses when she so chooses and the Laker culture starts in her office. She made the choice to hire a friend (and able-bodied business man and ex-Laker HOFer) and someone who bordered on being family to replace her brother. While she may have trusted Magic to a fault it would seem he couldn’t look her in the eye when he quit. He had the same issue when he first retired as a player with telling his coach, Pat Riley. Magic is an emotional man and the job he was in did not allow him that space.

This is sports, the narrative crafted by pundits and talking heads fits the moment, not reality. This will all change as the story (complete with a few nuggets of truth) comes out from more and more people. I will say to this point that Jeannie needs to wake up and move on from the glory days. Banners are hung with blood, sweat and tears, not bought or found in friendship. Winning in sports (especially consistently like the Spurs and Patriots do) is nigh impossible. That kind of strength starts at the top and needs to be reflected, magnified, and intensified down to the players on the court.

Rob may stay, or he may go. Luke might be coach next season, maybe not. Regardless, the Lakers need to do something they’re not used to doing: move slowly and deliberately. So, with that in mind, all of this gushing and opinionating by ESPN chowder heads and LA Times reporters desperate to keep a newspaper viable really don’t hold too much weight with me. Certainly nothing from the Twit-o-Sphere. What is said in one-on-one interviews has a little more weight but, if we’re being honest with one another, we’ll never ‘know’ the truth. To that end we need to hear from Jeannie and Rob Pelinka, too.

Until such time, here’s a notion for the media hordes: take the man at his word. Magic’s tears were not of the crocodile variety. It’s very understandable both why he strongly felt he had to fire Luke Walton and why he struggled with that emotionally while also weighing the fact that he no longer felt like he was living his own life. It’s definitely understandable that he relates to Jeannie Buss in the way a brother does a sister. He didn’t elaborate on the ‘whispers and the backstabbing’ and so it’s truly impossible to tell what he meant by that.

Luke has not coached a team to anything resembling a winning record. He could very easily get fired by whomever replaces Magic. This coming from a fan who thinks Luke can, eventually, get it done but we’re not in an ‘eventually’ place. At all. We’re in a ‘find the coach who can win now’ mode. In fact it’s just as likely that the front office and training staff all will get a make-over. That will come down to the new President and potentially GM. However this shakes out I can tell you three things:

-I hope we move in a direction where professionals are hired to do a professional job.
-That everyone involved slows their roll and makes smart, well-though out decisions.
-Whatever we say or do on this blog will have nothing to do with any of it.

But venting does help soothe the soul and so to that I say pour one out for Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson. I had as much faith in him helping us get back to the playoffs and winning ways as any ex-Laker but the plain truth is that an ex-Laker is probably not the best person for this job. It’s going to take professionals.