LeBron James and JaVale McGee. Those are the only two main contributors on the Los Angeles Lakers that haven’t been named in trades talks for Anthony Davis over the past several days. Just two players.
Naturally, that has had on affect on the locker room and it showed on Tuesday, when the Lakers played arguably their most uninspired game of the season against the Indiana Pacers. They lost by 42 points.
Following the game, James told Spectrum SportsNet that he doesn’t know for a fact whether or not his teammates have been bothered by the ongoing trade rumors, but he wouldn’t be surprised if they were:
“I don’t know. Obviously we have a lot of guys that have been in trade talks these last couple weeks that have never been in that position before… I know it has to be tough, especially on our young guys. They’ve never been a part of that and it’s happening every single day.”
They’re not just reading trade rumors on their phones, though. During the game, Pacers fans were chanting, “‘Bron’s gonna trade you” while the Lakers were at the free throw line. James downplayed the chants, saying he’s heard a lot worse.
LeBron on these chants— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) February 6, 2019
“That’s just fans being fans. If you let that bother you, you’re in the wrong sport." https://t.co/YCfI1rS2dw
Brandon Ingram was one the subjects of those chants, but even with that, he told reporters he’s still not desperate for the NBA trade deadline to pass on Thursday:
“I don’t really care about it. Y’all put more speculation on the trade deadline than anyone else. I’m just here to play basketball... I’ll just leave that to y’all to talk about.”
Until it passes, Kyle Kuzma said he’s considering taking a page out of Sandra Bullock’s book and cover his eyes with a blindfold.
Kyle Kuzma on avoiding trade rumors: “Maybe I should Bird Box.”— Bill Oram (@billoram) February 6, 2019
However, while Kuzma is understandably bothered by the trade rumors, he said the Lakers have a responsibility to show up and give a better effort than what they showed on Tuesday.
“Obviously (the rumors are) everywhere. You can’t not see it… At the end of the day we’ve got to figure out a way to block it out… A lot of it is our first time going around with it but obviously we have to be better.”
The Lakers will next have an opportunity to show they can block out the noise on Thursday, when take on the Boston Celtics. That’s, of course, assuming they haven’t all been traded for Anthony Davis by then.
I guess only time well. 22 hours, to be exact.
Keep track of all the latest Lakers rumors until the trade deadline here. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Christian on Twitter at @RadRivas.