I remember one year the Hawks surprisingly started the season 13-0 (or was it 12-0?) and went into the all star break leading the division. They ended up making the playoffs.... and then getting bounced out in the first round. I'm just saying is all.
Then again, THIS Eastern conference isn't exactly the Eastern conference of the mid- to late-90s.
All that means is that he told the Lakers of his plans ahead of time, which is almost a common courtesy in the NBA so that they can draft/plan/prepare to open their checkbook accordingly, with the news of that conversation leaking to the press.