In Year 1 with LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers went through some unfortunate situations and ultimately missed the NBA playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
Along with major injuries to James and the young core, the Anthony Davis trade rumors leading up to the Feb. 7 deadline were simply too much to overcome.
As one of the three leaders, Rajon Rondo detailed how the Davis trade rumors impacted the 2018-19 NBA season.
Although all of the attention was on the young core, Rondo revealed some of the veterans were impacted as well, according to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report:
“Even some of the old guys were affected,” Rondo says. “I can’t say a name, but I remember me and the guy were on the bench for the Atlanta game right before the [All-Star] break. The guy was cussing and talking bad about the situation during the game. I was like: ‘Snap out of it. That [expletive] 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.’ It was a little crazy to see a vet distraught over that.
At this stage of his career, Rondo was personally ‘kind of numb’ to the trade rumors, according to Bucher:
“Me, I’m kind of numb to it. I was in trade rumors every year in Boston. Eight straight years. You can’t really relate to it until you’ve gone through it. Not knowing the future, waking up every day—and now you’re on the phone reading stuff. When I was going through it, there wasn’t so much social media; it was just on TV. You’d hear it, or someone would text you about it, but it wasn’t so much in your face, with eight different blockbuster or proposed trades and your name in every one of them. Every Instagram scroll, you’re in it. So, psychologically, it probably took a toll. …
While trade rumors are a part of the business, the reality is these athletes are human beings and it impacts families. For the young core, it was the first time they experienced something like this and there were continuous leaks.
Unfortunately for them, the Davis trade rumors will likely pick up again heading into the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20. With the New Orleans Pelicans reportedly listening to offers now, the Lakers are still looking for a second All-Star player.