Josh Hart set social media ablaze with Lakers free agency speculation Tuesday afternoon when pictures of him and Paul George hanging out at an E3 Fortnite event surfaced.
He was asked about that experience and was perfectly clear about how he’d like this summer to play out, via ESPN:
How’s it going to be having Paul George as a teammate next season?
”Oh man it’s going to be amazing (laughs) I’m just playing ... No I don’t know what you’re talking about man, but if that did happen that would be a great addition to our very talented core, and if that happened we’d be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. He’s a great player and we’re going to see what happens.”
When Hart was told he had time to recruit Paul George before the event, he didn’t duck that speculation, either:
”We definitely talked a little bit about it, just kind of throwing little subtle shots. I was letting him know where he should live.”
Then, when the host joked that Hart should kick Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma off the team if he did so, Hart was happy to play along with his signature dry wit:
”Yeah man, definitely. You know, just kick those guys out and then we can bring in those guys and we good. But nah, it was fun just being able to talk to him. Constant jokes with him, Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond, Terrence Ross. It was fun. We’ll see what happens soon.”
One thing I keep coming back to: Hart and George don’t really run in the same circles. They don’t share an alma mater and there’s a five-year age gap between them. Fornite does allow people from all different kinds of backgrounds play together, but it’s just something I can’t help but notice.
As I wrote yesterday, this might mean absolutely nothing. It might be one of those moments we look back on as the beginning of the Lakers’ pursuit if George eventually signs. It’s all fun, really, something Hart seems to understand as much as any NBA player. Making anything more or less of that is a tremendous way to drive yourself insane.
You can watch the full interview here: