Magic Johnson advises Kobe Bryant to meet with Los Angeles Lakers vice president of player personnel Jim Bus and not general manager Mitch Kupchak if he wants to resolve his problems with management, particularly with the rumors swirling over a possible trade of Pau Gasol, according to ESPN Los Angeles.
"We have to remember now, it's not Mitch's situation anymore," Johnson told ESPN. "(Kupchak is) not running the team," Johnson said. "Jim Buss is running the team. So, Mitch has to follow the direction of Jim Buss and what he wants… I think what Kobe really probably wants is just be informed.” Johnson added.
Bryant had publicly expressed his issues with team management regarding Gasol’s trade status. Bryant believes they are hindering the power forward from performing at his full potential with the trade deadline approaching March 15.
General manager Mitch Kupchak had responded to Bryant's criticism by issuing a statement that the team would be at a competitive disadvantage if they were to publicly share their motives before the deadline. In his statement, Kupchak said that while he understands it is tough to play in this type of situation, Gasol could still move on to another team.