From the outside looking in, the Los Angeles Lakers offseason has not been a positive one since the conclusion of the 2018-19 NBA season.
Drama has surrounded the Lakers since the night of the team’s final regular season game when former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson suddenly stepped down.
A head coaching search that had its own set of twists and turns — along with multiple interviews and reports exposing the inner workings of the organization — have led to some questioning whether everything will affect their pursuit of free agents. However, one player who won’t be affected by the drama is JaVale McGee.
McGee has been open about his desire to return to the Lakers in which he just finished arguably the best season of his career and in a recent interview with Chris McGee of Spectrum SportsNet, he said that the drama surrounding them has no effect on him:
“Maybe other free agents. Me particularly? Nah, it doesn’t affect me at all. I know what I have to do to go to any organization. Just to play basketball and play to the best of my ability. The outside noise doesn’t really affect me just because I’m a vet. I know what comes with it. I’ve seen a lot (laughs). Nothing new at all.”
McGee is focused on playing basketball and nothing else so everything surrounding the Lakers doesn’t bother him in any way. He has been around the league for a number of teams and has seen just about everything the league has to offer so he is able to block out the drama.
That may not be the case for everyone, but McGee has already given his pitch to any free agents considering joining the Lakers:
“There’s opportunities on and off the court out here. I mean, we had the most TV games out of anybody and we were coming from a losing season,” McGee said during his recent exit interview. “So that’s just showing you how much spotlight and how much opportunity there is being with the Lakers if you’re winning or losing. It’s just opportunity out of anything.”
The opportunity is definitely there for the Lakers regardless of what is happening at the top of the organization. Despite all of the issues and drama, the Lakers remain a glamour franchise for the league and McGee is right in that the team will have more than its share of national TV games.
It is no guarantee that McGee will remain with them as free agency approaches, but he has certainly seemed focused on the positives of this organization far more than any negatives that have come up.