My god, they did it. Those absolute madmen actually did it.
After months of debating where Anthony Davis should go, who Anthony Davis should and should not be okay with playing for, and whether Anthony Davis should go anywhere at all, one of the largest looming questions of the offseason has finally been answered. The Brow is going to Hollywood to play with LeBron James, and all it cost the Lakers was an acceptable king’s ransom.
Depending on your perspective, this was either the inevitable outcome of a player clearly telegraphing his desire to play in a specific location while giving his current team a chance to get something in return for his talents, or a player-, agent-, and possibly media-driven conspiracy to make the Lakers a relevant team again, plus a cynical attempt at subverting parity or whatever. The debate over the ethics of this manufactured trade will likely rage through most of the offseason—or at least until free agency officially starts.
As has been noted on this site before, the search for an answer to the “why” will be a fruitless endeavor until we know all of the details of what happened behind the scenes, which Sports Illustrated surely will have written up in the next 48 hours. Yet some bits of information are already starting to trickle out. For example:
Still, who knows whether that was the sole reason behind the Celtics losing ground. Sure, keeping Tatum of the table probably didn’t help, but neither does having those closest to the centerpiece of the trade shit-talking the city of Boston and the team itself.
But, again, there will be time to parse all of that in the coming days, weeks and probably months. Here’s what we know for now: LeBron James might have just gotten the best teammate of his career after essentially taking a year off to live the life of a Hollywood celebrity, and there is now a concentrated effort to continue adding elite pieces around him in Los Angeles.
For better or for worse, the Lakers are returning to form as one of the best, and most hated, teams in the league.
Correction (9:25 P.M. EDT): An earlier version of this post referred to Lee Jenkins’s behind-the-trade-scene stories for Sports Illustrated; Jenkins now works for the Clippers.