Josh Hart is not holding back in why he criticized the Los Angeles Lakers organization.
As most of you are aware by now, the former Lakers swingman appeared on his podcast on Wednesday and blasted the Lakers organization, calling it “depressing” being there.
The 24-year-old Hart, who spent the first two years of his career with the Lakers before he was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Anthony Davis trade, defended his choice of words on Thursday.
Hart stated that the Lakers didn’t even call him to let him know that he was traded to the Pelicans. Instead, he found out he was changing NBA teams via Twitter.
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Josh Hart Blasts Lakers Unprovoked on Podcast
Hart was a fan favorite over the course of his two years in Los Angeles, unexpectedly emerging as a viable role player and a part-time starter in the rotation. Prior to his comments on his podcast, the former late first-round draft selection never had a bad thing to say about the Purple and Gold — which is why the comments came as so surprising.
For those who missed out on the exchange between Hart and Lonzo Ball, the conversation started out innocently. Ball was merely discussing his experience being in Lithuania, as his younger brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball have played professional basketball in the overseas country.
However, a conversation that started out innocently quickly turned into a hot take as Hart unleashed his pent-up frustration on the franchise that traded him.
Here is the exchange between the two former Lakers stars.
Ball: Everybody just hates that they’re there (Referring to living in Lithuania). I had to get out of there.
Hart: Sounds like L.A.
Ball: Nah, it’s definitely not L.A.
Hart: No I’m not talking about the city.
Ball: Oh, I don’t know what he’s talking about.
Hart: I was going to say the Lakers organization.
Josh Hart was Frustrated by Lakers’ Dysfunction
There is no doubt that the 2018-19 season was a disappointing one for the Lakers. They entered the season with high expectations and they matched those expectations as they raced out to a 20-14 start.
They obviously peaked on Christmas Day when they thumped the defending champion Golden State Warriors, 127-101, despite LeBron James missing the entire fourth quarter due to a groin injury. However, that groin injury turned out to be serious as James missed 18 games between late December and the beginning of February.
The Lakers wound up going from fourth place in the Western Conference to being out of the playoff picture — something they would never recover from despite the fact that LeBron recovered from his injury by early February.
When it became apparent that the Lakers needed to overhaul their roster to support James with a proper supporting cast, everyone started pointing the blame at players and team executives not named LeBron James.
Luke Walton was dismissed as head coach, Magic Johnson unexpectedly stepped down from his post as president of basketball operations and former top picks Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball — along with Hart — were traded in the package for All-Star big man Anthony Davis in the offseason.
With all of that said, if Hart is telling the truth with his tweet — the Lakers organization have yet to respond — this is pretty low of an organization that is supposed to be a first-class franchise.
When you factor in all of the turmoil that the Lakers have faced in recent years such as the mismanagement of the franchise by Jeanie Buss, the power struggle between Jeanie, Jim and Johnny Boss for control of the Lakers, along with Magic Johnson’s accusations that Rob Pelinka betrayed him, this is another bad look for a franchise that was untouchable just less than a decade ago.
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