In early April, a lengthy story from The Athletic’s Bill Oram on the Los Angeles Lakers acquisition of LeBron James and subsequent failure of a 2018-2019 season was published, with some particularly depressing details. One of those details told the story of a young Larry Nance Jr., recently engaged to his longtime girlfriend, requesting an audience with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka to procure some clarity of his standing with the team.
Nance wanted some assurance that the Lakers wouldn’t be moving him in the near future, as he wanted to buy a house in Los Angeles. Pelinka, as the report goes, told Nance to buy the house, as he wouldn’t trade Nance for anyone but “one of the game’s three best players.”
Nance was of course traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers shortly after that conversation with Pelinka as the Lakers worked to clear cap space to be able to offer multiple max contracts, and Pelinka received significant blowback once the report of his promise to Nance became public. The NBA is a business, of course, but looking a player in the eye and telling him one thing only to immediately do the opposite isn’t exactly great from an optics standpoint.
In a tweet sent Tuesday morning, Nance Jr. now denies the veracity of Oram’s report.
“Wanted to clear the air and say that is not the case,” Nance wrote in reference to Pelinka reportedly promising him he’d remain in L.A. “This league is a business and we all know it. Rob and I had and still have a great relationship.”
While it’s curious Nance Jr. would wait so long to offer a rebuttal on a random Tuesday morning, perhaps this part of the Lakers chaotic story since acquiring LeBron can be erased.