The Los Angeles Lakers ended without a playoff berth or Anthony Davis wearing the purple-and-gold. The Lakers vets haven't said that much publicly about the fallout following the failed Davis negotiations. One of them, Rajon Rondo, talked about the trade talk tensions with Bleacher Report.
Rondo believed the team's reactions to the rumors were split between the need to prove themselves or a sense of futility. He then explained how this all clashed with the team's winning focus.
"Each game you didn't know what the mentality was for those guys," he said. "'Should I give my all to this organization that is about to trade me in two days?'"
This sense of urgency came to a head when it was alleged that LeBron James was behind the Lakers' push for Davis. LeBron and AD met for dinner around the time he requested a trade. It was never confirmed that Davis spoke to LeBron about becoming a Laker, and the two eating together isn't out of the ordinary since they have the same manager.
But according to Rondo, just the thought of this scenario rattled players. The point guard said that the young players were not just worried about their roster slot: It also hurt their feelings to think their idol might not like them.
"Every guy on our team, LeBron was their favorite player growing up. Everyone had the shoes, his jersey. You're the biggest fan in the world. It's like you're playing with MJ, and then you get there, and it's like your mom and dad, or the person that you looked up to and idolized, doesn't want you" Rondo explains. "Guys aren't at the age where they can have a man-to-man conversation versus texting you. Everybody wants to text you: 'How you doing? We cool?' People don't understand how to have a real conversation and talk out problems."
Rondo does state that even the veterans LeBron recruited to help mold the team didn't like the thought of being traded away.
"Even some of the old guys were affected. 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," Rondo recounted. "I was like: 'Snap out of it. That shit 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."