It was a rather awkward scene Thursday morning at TD Garden. LeBron James was surrounded by the media on his first trip to Boston with the Los Angeles Lakers, and many of his young teammates were nowhere to be seen.
By 3 p.m., much of the young core could be ex-Lakers as the team attempts to pry Anthony Davis out of New Orleans before the trade deadline. It’s no secret that James wants to play with Davis and has no issue with players such as Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball, and Ivica Zubac being shuttled out of LA in the deal.
So the awkwardness will continue until a decision is made. James said his younger teammates just have to understand it’s part of the NBA business.
“That’s a question for those guys,” he said after Lakers shootaround in preparation for Thursday’s game with the Celtics. “I’m not sure. I think at the end of the day, it’s a business and there’s going to be speculation throughout your whole career as far as where you’re going to go and as a free agent where possibly you could go, if you were in trade discussions or if a team was going to buy you out or waive you. It’s all part of the business, and when you truly understand that and know this is a business and you give 100 percent to whatever situation that you’re in, but I know it has to be tough on guys that for the first time in your career, especially if you’re a young guy.”
James expressed his disdain on Wednesday evening after Dallas traded Harrison Barnes to the Sacramento Kings during the Mavericks game with the Charlotte Hornets. Barnes was sitting in the bench as the trade was being consummated. James said players like Davis should have more control of their career fate and not be criticized if they seek a trade.
“It’s not hard to understand the two sides,” he said. “I understand the one side. I understand if a guy gets traded or a guy gets waived or cut, it was for the best of the franchise, which I agree. The team has to do what’s best for the franchise to set them up for the near future, for the present, but at the same time the players have the ability to do as well.
“If a player wants to be traded because he feels like it’s for the better of profession or the better of his career or if a player decides as a free agent he wants to leave, then that should be the same conversation, that should be the same narrative, not that this guy or this kid is selfish or ungrateful or he didn’t appreciate where he was from or appreciate what he got. You do what’s best for your career.
“Besides, at the end of the day, we only have so many years to play the game and you want to try to maximize as much as possible, so I like it on both sides. I see it from both angles, both franchise and players, but it’s the narrative that we would like to be able to be changed, and I think it’s unfortunate that Harrison Barnes [situation happened].”
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So let me guess this is cool cause they had to do what was best for the franchise right??? Traded this man while he was literally playing in the game and had ZERO idea. I’m not knocking who traded him because it’s a business and you have to do what you feel what’s best but I just want this narrative to start to get REAL/CHANGE and not when a player wants to be traded or leaves a Franchise that he’s a selfish/ungrateful player but when they trade you, release , waive, cut etc etc it’s best for them! I’m ok with both honestly, truly am. Just call a ♠️ a ♠️!!
Lakers at a glance
■ When, where: Thursday, 8 p.m., at TD Garden.
■ TV, radio: TNT, WBZ-FM (98.5).
■ Scoring: LeBron James 26.9, Kyle Kuzma 18.6, Brandon Ingram 17.1.
■ Rebounding: James 8.4, JaVale McGee 6.8, Tyson Chandler 6.1.
■ Assists: Rajon Rondo 7.7, James 7.3, Lonzo Ball 5.4.
■ Head to head: This is the first of two meetings. The teams split the series last season.
■ Miscellany: Ball (ankle) is out . . . The Lakers have dropped six of their last eight . . . James has averaged 29.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in 49 career games against the Celtics . . . Rondo is averaging 9.5 points and 9.8 assists over his last six starts with Ball out.