In the player empowerment era of the NBA, star movement has become commonplace, with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James opening the door wide open.
James wielded his status as a superstar to move to any team he wanted and built out rosters to his liking, oftentimes recruiting other star players to join him. James took a different path when he joined the Lakers, who at the time did not have another All-Star on the roster. But that soon changed after Anthony Davis forced his way to Los Angeles.
James and Davis are both represented by Rich Paul and Klutch Sports and the agency has drawn the ire of many for how they have operated behind the scenes. In an appearance on “The Mike Missanelli Show”, NBA analyst Charles Barkley blasted Klutch for their handling of players:
“I don’t believe that. You know how that group works. They try to trade their players to where they want to. They do it the way they want to. Anthony Davis – they had better deals from Boston for Anthony Davis, and I think maybe even New York, and they’re like, ‘No, he’s gonna go to L.A. and play with LeBron. He’s not gonna play.’ They just bully the league. At some point, a team or the league got to stand up to, ‘Wait a minute. I paid your guy. You can’t bully me to trade him and me taking some trash back.’ So I’m hoping somebody in the Sixers organization got some stones.”
Barkley was discussing Ben Simmons’s trade request from the Philadelphia 76ers as he is also with Klutch. Simmons and the 76ers’ relationship has soured after a disappointing second-round exit, and it seems inevitable that the star point forward will be moved before the start of the 2021-22 season.
The Lakers and Klutch seem to have formed some sort of partnership since James agreed to come as several players have come to play for the Purple and Gold. Relationships are everything in the NBA, so it makes sense for L.A. to work closely with an agent as powerful and influential as Paul.
Kuzma has is not bitter about trade to Wizards
Every personnel move on the Lakers goes through James, so fans have to assume that he OKed the move to trade Kyle Kuzma for Russell Westbrook. Kuzma would have every right to be upset, but he revealed he has no bitterness toward James or the Lakers.
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