Myles Turner

USA Today

Bron’s Gonna Trade You Chants?

That is cold as hell, funny as hell, and savage as hell.

February 06, 2019 - 10:51 am

If you think those Laker trade rumors don’t bleed over onto the court, think again.

Indiana 136
Los Angeles 94

A 42 point loss. To an Oladipo-less Pacers team. The worst loss of LeBron’s career in a game that he played in.

And it wasn’t just that they were blown out, it was the visuals and the audio. There was the visual of LeBron with three empty seats on the bench between him and the nearest Laker, Brandon Ingram. A lot can be read into that. And maybe all of it is true. Or maybe it’s just how it played out when guys got off the bench. Or maybe it’s a reaction to LeBron effectively putting the entire locker room on the trade block. 

But you don’t have to work too hard to read anything into this from Pacer fans, when Ingram stepped to the foul line in the first quarter.

Bron’s gonna trade you! Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap 

Bron’s gonna trade you! Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap

That is cold as hell, funny as hell, and savage as hell. And it has to sting, because you know there’s some truth to it. 

But that wasn’t nearly as cold. 

Almost as cold and brutal as when JaVale McGee stepped to the line later in the game. Roll it.

Not worth trading! Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap

Not worth trading! Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap

Cold. Blooded. Pacer fans, don’t do them like that!

But don’t get it twisted. Losing by 40 plus last night doesn’t make the Lakers any more desperate for Davis than they already were. Because they can’t get more desperate for Davis. They know that and everyone knows that. 

That blowout loss, humiliating as it is, doesn’t impact their need for Davis. It’s not like they would’ve needed Davis less if they lost by four or won by two, instead of losing by 42. 

What that loss does show is that the trade rumors are getting to players, especially the young players. Just ask Lance Stephenson.  

Born Ready speaking Straight Truth. It is hard on guys. When your name is coming up in trade talks, you know that on some level the team doesn’t want you. How can that not impact your head and your game?

LeBron knows too. Well, he doesn’t actually know from experience: “We have a lot of guys that’s been in trade talks the last couple weeks that’s never been in that position before. So, you’ll have to ask those guys how they’re dealing with it. You can’t really ask me. I’ve never really been a part of that, but I’ve been a part of teammates” going through it.”

So, guys on the trade block, how’s it going? Don’t bother. I’ll answer that for you: not good. Not good at all. 

And even if LeBron hasn’t been on the trade block before, he can imagine: "I know it has to be tough on a lot of our guys, especially our young guys. Right now, they've just never been a part of it and they're hearing it every single day -- and I know that the worst thing that you can do right now is be on social media. And I know all young guys love social media. So, that definitely can't help."

Which is why Kyle Kuzma was joking about going Bird Box the rest of the week. But that’s the thing. 

It’s not like it’ll all be cured when the deadline passes. It’s not like Thursday at 3pm Eastern rolls around and everything’s back to normal. It’s probably not. You just forget that the team tried to trade you; that the team thought it was better off without you: that LeBron didn’t want to run with you. That he and they may be pissed they couldn’t move you. Just because the trade deadline comes to pass doesn’t mean, all that isn’t still rattling around in your head: especially if you’re a young player and you haven’t been through it before. Make no mistake: it’s affecting them: it’s infected their domes. They’re freaking out on and off the floor.

So if they don’t get a deal done for Davis, you’re going to have a team full of guys who are butt hurt: and wounded. Who feel like they’re not wanted; and Bron, and Luke, and Erv are going to need all those same players to come together down the stretch: Good luck with that, everyone. Luke Walton already had a tough job and now he’s got a nearly impossible job to keep this group together. 

And the worst news is, they’re about to go to Boston tomorrow night and then get to see the Big 4 in Philly on Sunday. This could get ugly.  And much worse before it gets any better.  If it ever does.