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Josh Hart apologizes to Lakers, insinuates they didn’t call him day of Anthony Davis trade

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 05: NBA players LeBron James (L) and Josh Hart greet each other at the end of a game between the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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When Lonzo Ball described Lithuania as “depressing” and “gloomy,” Josh Hart said it sounded like the Lakers organization.

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.

Good luck convincing anyone that was sarcasm. Last year’s Lakers had real problems on and off the court – including one Hart caught the brunt of.

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.