Jalen Rose says Anthony Davis trade rumors tore Lakers’ locker room apart
NBA analyst Jalen Rose, who was once torched by a particularly iconic member of the Los Angeles Lakers, is bringing the fire back to the organization, claiming their handling of trade conversations for Anthony Davis was what tore their locker room apart.
The Lakers took yet another embarrassing loss, this time to the Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans — even after LeBron James activated his playoff mode — which only shows just how maligned this locker room really is at the moment.
“We talked about this since Christmas, and once the trade rumors became something for public consumption, it tore the Lakers’ locker room apart,” said Rose on ESPN’s Get Up! “Of course the players are going to out and compete, because they’re professionals, but you got to start paying attention to the name on the back of the jersey, because now all of a sudden — am I renting? am I leasing? am I going to be here?
These guys are willing to trade five of us for one player. That fractured their locker room, they’re 9-16 since that point and like I said then — not because LeBron isn’t terrific and everybody fell back on the crutch — ‘oh, they’re gonna make the playoffs just because they have LeBron…’ They’re not gonna make the playoffs because they’re in the West and it’s a lot tougher this year.”
"Once the trade rumors became something for public consumption, it tore the Lakers' locker room apart."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) February 25, 2019
A clear sight of this fissure in this locker room was displayed in Magic Johnson’s immediate need to address the team right after talks with the Pelicans went south and the trade deadline passed, as the likes of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley, and others were already publicly involved in trade rumors.
Johnson’s speech was aimed at telling his guys they must be professional — but that is a lot easier said than done, especially when most of those involved have only been playing in the league for three years of less.
Having used the motto of “everyone but LeBron James is fair game” has caused not only a rift between the players and the front office, but also between the young core and their leader.