Lakers owner Jeanie Buss opened up about some of the media reports that came out during Los Angeles’ pursuit of Anthony Davis, calling them “fake news” and “completely not true.”
While there are still questions as to what the Lakers actually offered for the Pelicans big man, one rumor that circulated ahead of February’s trade deadline indicated the franchise was willing to offer nearly their entire roster, including every young player on their roster — Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, among others — and a couple of draft picks.
Buss, however, wants to set the record straight about the media during the highly publicized trade talks.
“The biggest challenge for (us is) the ‘fake news’ about how we were supposedly trading our entire roster for a certain player, which is completely not true,” Buss said Saturday in reference to Davis, via ESPN. “But those stories leak out and it hurt our young players. It wasn’t fair. (Lakers president Magic Johnson) got in front of that, and I think we’re back on the right track. Hopefully, that will allow us to make a playoff push coming up here.”
Buss went on to explain that she believes the “fake news” led to some of the team’s struggles and the players’ chemistry took a hit.
“There’s always a love-hate relationship with the media when you’re on this side of the business,” Buss explained. “The media, for example, there was a lot of hype and things written about a potential trade leading into the trade deadline — all of it false. But it got a lot of coverage.
“There’s damage that’s done to team chemistry when players have to read about all this — that is, to me, it’s irresponsible and frustrating because it puts feelings that your players have (at risk) and you can’t avoid it. It’s part of the landscape that we deal with.”
Despite all of the media attention, Buss wants her team to focus on making a playoff push. The Lakers are coming off a big loss to the Suns and are now 30-33 and 10th in the Western Conference standings. They are 4 1/2 games back from the eighth-ranked Clippers.