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Video: Watch Stephen A. Smith's Rant on Rumors of Magic Johnson's Lakers Tenure

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 8:  NBA Analyst Stephen A. Smith makes an anouncment before Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors on May 8, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/Getty Images

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith went to bat for Magic Johnson after an article by ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes painted the former Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations in a critical light.

In particular, Smith took aim at a portion from Holmes' piece that focused on Johnson's demeanor behind the scenes.

Parakeet Cortes @Ryan_Cortes

Ladies and gentlemen, The GOAT @stephenasmith went OFF today about Earvin Magic Johnson and the Lakers 🚨 NEW HEAT 🚨 https://t.co/G4ZTdnIjQN

According to the report, one member of the Lakers front office said Johnson "used intimidation and bullying as a way of showing authority."

In 2017, Johnson reportedly admonished an employee for a mistake she made and said that she'd be fired for making another one. The employee "would suffer increased anxiety and panic attacks," according to Holmes, and began receiving anti-anxiety medication.

The woman, who had worked with the Lakers for over 20 years, quit in December 2017.

Holmes said Lakers personnel had come to see two sides of Johnson: Magic and Earvin. Magic had the genial personality fans have come to associate with Johnson, whereas Earvin "could be manipulative and impulsive."

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