So this has spiraled out of control real fast. What began as banter on an ESPN show somehow became a report, which triggered reaction from all over and, finally, a denial from the Los Angeles Lakers. The banter revolved around coach Mike Brown, with Magic Johnson saying if the Lakers lost Game 7 to the Nuggets, Brown would have to go. He'd be fired was essentially the opinion Magic presented.
The keyword in that is opinion. It wasn't a report or sourced; it was an opinion presented by Johnson.
Don't believe me? Watch the video of Magic and Chris Broussard screaming at each other. And while you're watching, realize this triggered reports of Brown's demise. Also notice how the video begins with a question. It's framed as though Brown could be fired, as if to drum up interest.
So what happened next? Brown responded, which ESPN followed up on. Then Brown's agent responded.
The sources told ESPN Brown's job was not on the line (same link as the one above).
Brown's job is not on the line based on Game 7's outcome, according to a source with knowledge of the Lakers' thinking who told ESPNLosAngeles.com that the team would "never place an ultimatum on any coach, player or management (member)."
And finally, the Lakers responded with a statement.
Lakers statement says Magic's Comments re: Mike Brown Lakers "in no way...reflect the feelings or position of team ownership or management."— J.A. Adande (@jadande) May 12, 2012
Lakers statement:"We are fully committed to and supportive of Mike Brown as head coach of the Lakers."— J.A. Adande (@jadande) May 12, 2012
Lakers statement wasn't attributed to any individual, just "Lakers management"— J.A. Adande (@jadande) May 12, 2012
Now, one more time, trace this back to its origin. Watch the video again if you need to. Magic Johnson argued with Chris Broussard and brought up that he thought Brown would be fired because there's so much pressure on the head coach of the Lakers. That interview became an article on the ESPN website. Then that article spread and somehow, like a game of telephone, became framed as a report. It caused pandemonium.
And out of it all came numerous denials and statements, all as the Lakers prepare for Game 7 against the Nuggets. Pretty amazing.