Frank Vogel sat next to Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka with a smile. When he spoke, briefly, Vogel insisted the perception of the team from outside is very different from what he's experienced on the inside.
Lakers fans better hope he's right.
L.A. as a franchise has taken a beating of late. Beyond another non-playoff season, Earvin "Magic" Johnson shocked the organization by stepping down from his role as president of basketball operations on the final day of the season, in part because he was tired of the "backstabbing" behind the scenes.
On Monday, clearly timed to overshadow Vogel's introductory press conference, Johnson unloaded on the Lakers on ESPN's First Take, claiming Pelinka was the one who betrayed him by talking behind his back, complaining how rarely Johnson made it into the office.
As Vogel sat patiently, Pelinka fielded question after question on Johnson and the Lakers' new power structure, taking the high road in praising Johnson. Any rift is based on "a misperception … things that aren't true."
Whatever the truth may be, Pelinka wasn't the main reason why Johnson left.