The NBA is a business, but it can also be very personal.
Within the Lakers organization, one might find this fact especially true. When LeBron James signed the dotted line, his rule over the team was almost in an instant. Being the best player in the game, and one of the most popular in the history os the sport, the Lakers couldn't afford to displease him. They still can't.
Whether intentional or not, LeBron runs that team because he is the link that keeps them so dang good.
And while the details of his reign are a subject of increasing speculation, former NBA coach Brian Shaw says LeBron is the one who calls the shots both on the court and in the front office. According to Shaw, Kyle Kuzma maybe his latest victim.
Brian Shaw: "To every other young Lakers player out there, don't make the mistake that Kuzma's team did and have your trainer say anything about GM LeBron James"
Brian Shaw: "I know Rich Paul was trying to sign Kyle Kuzma when he left his agent last year and he didn't sign with Rich Paul so when you don't sign with Rich Paul and your trainer comes out and says that Kawhi was giving it to LeBron, you're gonna be outta there."
Host: "You think LeBron gave him the kiss of death?"
Brian Shaw: "Aaah man no question."
What they are referring to here, in regards to Kuzma, is two separate incidents. First being the fact that Kuzma refused to sign with Rich Paul (Bron's agent) this summer, and the second being Kuzma'as trainer going on record as saying Kawhi was "giving it" to LeBron.
Indeed, if James took these things personally, it could make a Kuzma exit likely. Or maybe not.
It is important to note that Shaw is not just some random retired player. He was part of the coaching staff of the Lakers organization last year and was directly working with LeBron and his team. He has more inside information on this than most.
Still, Bron's degree of control and his seemingly ruthless behavior when it comes to his teammates could all just be overstated.
I guess, in time, we'll find out.