Back when Magic Johnson was in charge, and he offered the Lakers' farm to the Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis, there was certainly a group of people out there who thought the Lakers were giving up too much. Then Rob Pelinka went and traded even more for Davis, ultimately shipping out Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, three first-round picks (including the No. 4 overall pick this past summer) and two more pick swaps.
Hindsight is 20/20 and certainly given the way Davis has played for the Lakers, who are in the thick of the championship chase with the second-best record in the league, any doubt as to whether the Lakers did the right thing in all but emptying the future bank for Davis has been erased.
LeBron James, for his part, was saying this all along. It was common knowledge that James and his agent, Rich Paul, who is also Davis' agent, were pushing for the Lakers to acquire Davis at pretty much whatever cost necessary. Davis made his trade demand to New Orleans public in an effort to get to the Lakers prior to last season's trade deadline.
It was an incredible mess that all but blew up both franchises' locker rooms and seasons. And it was all worth it. The Pelicans got a monster haul as the foundation for their promising future, and the Lakers got the perfect wingman for LeBron -- who, in the wake of Davis posting 46 points and 13 rebounds on the Pelicans Friday night, wasted no time in reminding the one-time skeptics that A.D. was, indeed, worth it.
Keep in mind, the guys the Lakers traded for Davis -- now Pelicans Ingram, Ball and Hart -- were sitting in the visiting locker room when LeBron sent this post out. The Lakers gave them a tribute video. LeBron had shared a hug with them at the conclusion of the game. It's a reminder of the cutthroat business of the NBA.
It was never anything personal against those guys. It was about getting Anthony Davis, who literally almost outscored Ingram, Ball and Hart by himself on Friday. Ball with 23 points, and Ingram with 22, both had big games. Ingram might be an All-Star this year. But Davis is Davis, and in hindsight, you make this deal every single time. LeBron knew it all along (as did a lot of other people, to be fair), and he let everyone know about it on Friday.