Between the multiple injuries, the failed trade for Anthony Davis, missing the playoffs and the abrupt exit of Magic Johnson, the Lakers 2018-19 season was a real sh*t show.
Now Lakers reserve Rajon Rondo is opening up about what it was like to be at the center of it all.
In an attempt to pair another star with James and make the playoffs, the Lakers unsuccessfully tried trading for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, who wanted out of New Orleans.
The public ordeal led teammates to reportedly become distrustful of James and caused a rift in the locker room.
Via Bleacher Report:
“Even some of the old guys were affected,” Rondo said. He recalled sitting on the bench with an unnamed teammate against the Atlanta Hawks when the teammate became distraught over trade talks.
“The guy was cussing and talking bad about the situation during the game,” Rondo said. “I was like: ‘Snap out of it. That shit is over with. We’ll get through it. As vets, we have to move forward and not focus on what the young guys are focusing on. Set an example.’”
Rondo went on to describe how the trade talks affected the mindset of the team.
“Each game you didn’t know what the mentality was for those guys: ‘Should I give my all to this organization that is about to trade me in two days?’”
James’ involvement in the trade talks coupled with sharing the same agent in Rich Paul with Davis also didn’t help.
“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,” He said. “And then to have that sitting in your gut, not knowing.”
While the season appeared chaotic on the outside, Rondo asserts that the team held it together as much as it could.
“Biggest market, biggest media, you know what you’re coming into with LeBron James on the team,” Rondo said. “To me it wasn’t as crazy. The way things ended, the way Magic exited, maybe. Things happen. You learn. … I think we held it together as best as possible.”
LeBron to the Lakers sounded like a dream come true, but quickly turned into a nightmare.
Will the Lakers be able to turn things around after the worst year in Franchise history?
Only time will tell, but time with LeBron is running out.
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