In case you had any doubts about the effects of the midseason trade rumors for Anthony Davis, Lakers’ guard Rajon Rondo made it blatantly obvious that the whispers regarding his team created a culture of mistrust in the locker room. They all knew LeBron James was involved, and it left the rest of the team wondering who was in and who was out.
“Every guy on our team, LeBron was their favorite player growing up,” Rondo says. “Everyone had the shoes, his jersey. You’re the biggest fan in the world. It’s like you’re playing with MJ, and then you get there, and it’s like your mom and dad, or the person that you looked up to and idolized, doesn’t want you. And then to have that sitting in your gut, not knowing. Guys aren’t at the age where they can have a man-to-man conversation versus texting you. Everybody wants to text you: ‘How you doing? We cool?’ People don’t understand how to have a real conversation and talk out problems.”
“Even some of the old guys were affected,” Rondo says. “I can’t say a name, but I remember me and the guy were on the bench for the Atlanta game right before the [All-Star] break. The guy was cussing and talking bad about the situation during the game.”
Things were never the same after the trade rumors went viral. Magic Johnson made the entire roster available for Anthony Davis, a move no-doubt approved by James.
Not only did the Lakers fail to get Davis, but it destroyed their chemistry as a team.
Essentially, they have to start over if they want to turn things around next year. This summer is their best bet, but they best not screw it up this time around.