Magic Johnson Denies Employee Abuse Allegations

"I've never abused an employee and I never will."

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Magic Johnson is denying allegations that he was abusive to his employees in the Los Angeles Lakers organization. The former Lakers star who stepped down from a leadership position in the team's front office earlier this season said that he's "never abused an employee" in an interview with ESPN. 

Johnson was responding to allegations that surfaced in an exposé on the organization attempting to cast a light on the behind-the-scenes of their disappointing season with LeBron James. In the piece by ESPN, Johnson is painted as a tyrant. It said that Johnson "berated staffers, including (Luke) Walton and created an in-house culture that many current and former longtime staffers said marginalized their colleagues, inspired fear and led to feelings of anxiety severe enough that at least two staffers suffered panic attacks." 

The article went on to say that Johnson would explode on his employees when questioned, saying that "his response was always a threatening tone."

Johnson cited his own tenure at ESPN and his own boss at the Lakers to back up his version of events. He said that team owner Jeanie Buss wouldn't stand for that sort of behavior and named several ESPN sportscasters as character witnesses. His response came a little late, however, as NBA Twitter is already running with the idea of him as a basketball Miranda Priestly.

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