Josh Hart has had an impressive training camp and preseason for the Los Angeles Lakers so far, fighting his way into a starting spot he looks set to keep after one game and even playing out of position at the four a bit. The latter wouldn’t be possible without Hart’s Hulk-like strength that allows him to stand up players far larger than him in the post, something former Golden State Warriors forward David West learned the hard way last season.
First a little context: Marc Spears of ESPN started things off by tweeting some praise for Hart, something that will surely become a lot more common if Hart continues his strong play into the regular season, when the LeBron James-led Lakers will be on national television plenty:
Better late than never, but it’s time to start talking about @joshhart in same regard as the other young Lakers - Ingram, Kuzma & Ball - are spoken of.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) October 5, 2018
That was a nice compliment, but the one West followed it up with was even better:
U asked me if I knew during the year. This little mofo stood me up in the post twice..Hips were tripping that night. Time to hang it up bruh I said to myself in the game ✊— David West (@D_West30) October 5, 2018
You read that right: Josh Hart is so strong that 15-year NBA veteran, two-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA champion David West tried to post him up twice and said “time to hang it up bruh.”
Yeah. At least he said it wasn’t personal.
Stood a lot of bigs up down there....don’t take it personal OG https://t.co/2x40PAk8TF— Josh Hart (@joshhart) October 5, 2018
That level of strength is so impressive that — now that it’s measurable in David West’s, the standard measurement of NBA strength — Silver Screen and Roll now has a list of other things that would retire if they tried to post up Josh Hart twice:
- A semi truck
- One of those trucks that tows semi trucks
- A tank
- Thor, the mythological Norse God of Thunder
- Thor, the mythological Norse God of Thunder driving a tow truck that is towing a tank
That’s the list, and there is no arguing with it.
The other upshot of this is that the Lakers may have discovered a sustainable strategy for defensive success this season: Force players to post up Josh Hart, and watch them all retire. It worked on one Warrior, and maybe it’s the Lakers’ best shot to stop the rest of them.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.