Josh Hart Attempts to Clear Air With Lakers Following Highly Critical Comments - Lakers Daily Josh Hart Attempts to Clear Air With Lakers Following Highly Critical Comments - Lakers Daily

Josh Hart Attempts to Clear Air With Lakers Following Highly Critical Comments

Josh Hart New Orleans Pelicans Jeremy Brevard / USA TODAY Sports

Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Josh Hart was forced to do some damage control on Sunday night after he made critical comments about his former team back in September.

Now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, Hart was part of the offseason trade that brought Anthony Davis to the Lakers.

Three months after that trade, a conversation with teammate Lonzo Ball on Hart’s LightHearted Podcast served as a platform for Hart to diss his former team. The comments were meant to be deleted following the recording, but ultimately ended up on the published piece.

“Lithuania was very depressing,” Ball said. “I went there to go visit [my brothers]; I wouldn’t do it again. … It’s like hella gloomy, nobody smiles, it’s like everybody just hates that they’re there. I’m like ‘Damn.’ I had to get out of there, bro.'”

Hart then jumped at the opportunity to take a jab at his former team.

“Sounds like L.A.,” he said. “No, I’m not talking about the city.”

Ball then responded, advising that Hart cut out that interaction before publishing the episode.

“I don’t know what he’s talking about,” he said. “Next question. Cut that part out.”

The producer on hand agreed. Thinking that it would ultimately get cut out, Hart chose to clarify his statements further.

“I was going to say the Lakers organization,” he said while laughing.

Soon after the podcast was posted, Hart explained that the criticism he expressed was a result of the Lakers not giving him advance notice that he would be traded. However, with the Pelicans facing the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Sunday and hosting the Lakers on Wednesday, Hart was forced to further clarify those comments.

“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 said.

“I loved my time here. I loved my time here and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I love Laker Nation. They show so much love, so much support.”

Hart did go into further detail about not being notified by the team. While he understood the reason for being traded, he believed that the Lakers should have practiced some common courtesy.

“Obviously, sometimes things happen quickly,” Hart said. “But I mean, you have of a gist of if something’s going to happen. At least that day or something. So just reach out.

“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.”

Hart didn’t play in the Pelicans’ blowout loss to the Clippers, having now missed the last seven games because of a knee injury. Still, his statistical numbers for the 10 games that he’s played in are higher than the numbers he enjoyed during his two years with the Lakers. He’s currently averaging 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

The Lakers’ matchup against the Pelicans on Wednesday will draw plenty of media coverage because it will mark the first time that Davis will have played in New Orleans since the trade took place. While Hart may have received mild criticism in Los Angeles, that reception will likely pale in comparison to the negative reception awaiting Davis.