By the Los Angeles Lakers trading Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers, fans of the NBA were reminded again at the trade deadline that for owners and team executives, basketball is indeed a business.
For the players, however, there is a human element that is often overlooked. The Lakers front office has been uniformly applauded by making a deft trade, which helped create salary cap space needed for the team to chase two superstar free agents this summer.
But for the players, it is more about camaraderie and friendship. Clarkson and Nance are, by all accounts, great teammates and solid human beings, and they played their hearts out for the Lakers.
Both were true professionals, even when all around them the team was engulfed in drama: An attempted coup within the Buss family, a coaching change from Byron Scott to Luke Walton, and the overhaul of the front office.
A sign of the brotherhood that had been developed was evident in an emotional video Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shared on Uninterrupted, to thank his former teammates for their kindness and friendship:
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) February 9, 2018
While Caldwell-Pope is only in his first season with the Lakers, the message and words he delivered were echoed by Walton, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle, among others with the organization.
Whether the trade will lead to the Lakers signing the superstar(s) they covet won’t be determined until this summer or next, but Caldwell-Pope’s words about his former teammates are a reminder of the humanity of the game that is sometimes overlooked.
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