Magic Johnson on trading D’Angelo Russell: ‘What I needed was a leader’ in L.A.

Magic Johnson threw some shade at D’Angelo Russell Friday, explaining the Lakers traded the guard to the Nets this week because he needed a leader and somebody that players want to play with.

The Lakers surprised many observers when they traded Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Los Angeles also sent center Timofey Mozgov to Brooklyn in exchange for Nets center Brook Lopez and the No. 27 overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Johnson picked an unusual spot to explain his reasoning. As the Lakers introduced Lonzo Ball to the media Friday at the team’s practice facility, the Lakers president of basketball operations explained why the team traded Russell to the Nets.

Nick Horvath is hit by a pitch, walking in Jonathan India. it’s 3-1 Gators.

Christian Hicks intentionally walked. Now Andrew Baker is in to pinch run for the Gators at first. Bases loaded, no outs for Florida. Anything outside the infield could result in a run.

Mike Rivera gets the sac bunt, advancing Jonathan India and Austin Langworthy to second and third, respectively. One out for the Gators with Christian Hicks up to bat as a pinch hitter in place of Ryan Larson.

Zack Hess walks Austin Langworthy with the full count. Gators now have two runners on base with no outs.

Jonathan India gets his second hit of the night, a double, to start the eighth inning. Extra runs for the Gators would be a killer for LSU here.

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