The Los Angeles Lakers are visiting the New Orleans Pelicans for the first time since the trade that saw Anthony Davis arrive in LA in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. While all eyes will be on Davis and his reception in the city he called home for so long, the former Lakers young core will be looking to exact revenge on the team that drafted them.
The trio of young players that NOLA received have been mostly quiet about the trade with the exception of Hart. The shooting guard hosts his own podcast and in an episode featuring Ball, he seemingly took a shot at the Lakers by likening the organization to Ball’s less than lively experience in Lithuania where his younger players played professionally for a short time. The comments were supposed to be edited out but were kept on in the video version.
Ahead of Wednesday’s game, Hart clarified that he really only had a problem with the team not calling him to inform him the trade went through before it was leaked and that his issues were with one person, in particular. He did not name the party, though it may be obvious to outside observers.
Hart also informed ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that he called members of the Lakers’ front office and some of his former teammates to apologize about the comments.
“When my sarcasm, that wasn’t supposed to be in that — it was supposed to be cut — was in there, I called some of the people in the [Lakers] front office, I called some of my teammates that I had and made sure they knew that none of this stuff was about you guys,” Hart told ESPN on Sunday night.
“I loved my time here. I loved my time here and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I love Laker Nation. They show so much love, so much support.”
At the end of the day, this is clearly an emotional topic. Hart has a right to be upset by how the trade was handled especially given its effects on the team last season. It’s also something that happens far more frequently than most would think. It’s good that Hart made amends with his former teammates even if there was no obligation to do so.
The Pelicans host the Lakers at 6:30 PM PST.