Magic Johnson hopes to hug the Lakers' issues away after trade deadline drama
Johnson wants to smooth things over in the Lakers locker room
That's right. Johnson plans to hug it out with his players after it became public knowledge that he and general manager Rob Pelinka dangled every single player on the roster - not named LeBron James - to the New Orleans Pelicans in a potential Anthony Davis deal. Ultimately, no trade was made, and all the players that were dangled at the deadline remain on the Lakers' roster - for now.
"It's a part of business, it's a part of being a professional athlete," Johnson said of having his players involved in trade rumors, via NBA.com. "I'm going to hug 'em and tell them that we got to come together and our goal is still in reach, which is to make the playoffs.
"I love our team. I love the guys. It's a tough part of our business whether you're mentioned in trade talk, or you get traded. It's a tough part of professional sports, but they came together and played great against Boston. My job is to make sure we stay together as a team and stay focused on the goal, which is to make the playoffs."
You can see Johnson's comments below, via AP Sports:
Lakers players approached the swirling speculation professionally, but second-year forward Kyle Kuzma admitted that he was relieved when the deadline passed and he remained on the Lakers roster.
"For me, I just tried to continue to work and try to prepare for whatever situation I was going to be in," Kuzma said, via Lakers Nation. "At the end of the day it's the NBA. Everybody is tradable in this league... I feel like after the Pacers game, I kind of just realized the trade wasn't going to happen, from what I was hearing. Getting a lot off my chest and talking to people, I was kind of relieved after that game. Crazy as it sounds, you lose by 40 and be relieved."
Being the subject of trade rumors can be tough for any player, especially younger guys like the ones that make up most of the Lakers roster. It will be interesting to see how they respond for the remainder of the season, and just how effective Johnson's hugs are.
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