Hart backtracked from his podcast comments, tweeting about how much he loved the Lakers and said his issue was learning of his inclusion in the Anthony Davis trade via Twitter rather than phone call. Yes, there would be an irony of delivering this message on Twitter not phone call.
That’s why Hart placed some calls back to Los Angeles.
Hart, via Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
“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.
It still seems the most likely explanation is Hart told the truth and just didn’t want that heat. Most players take the high road after a trade. It’s not worth burning a bridge and becoming the center of controversy.
Still, Hart is sticking with one grievance.
Hart, via Shelburne:
“You know in this league, this is a possibility. Like ‘Hey, you’re going to get an all-world player [Davis], I get it. … Cool. No hard feelings.’
“But all you want is just like a heads-up, or even — when the deal is final — to get a call or even get a call just the same day and not find out on Twitter, and not get called, days later.”
Players love to complain about how they got traded. It’s an accepted way to vent about having their lives uprooted. There isn’t much compassion for players getting traded. But the how… sometimes, that elicits sympathy.
Mostly, I don’t buy it. Trades require a lot of moving pieces. Sometimes, news breaks before executives can reach each player. It happens frequently enough now that it should be expected. As long as the player gets called reasonably promptly, I personally don’t care where he first hears about the trade.
But if the Lakers didn’t even call Hart the same day, that’d cross the line. That’s not the right way to treat an outgoing employee.