The NBA world is full of more drama than ever before. Massive Superstars have changed teams in recent years due to teams wanting a change of pace and these players hoping to find new situations. There have been rifts to grow between Superstars. Many NBA top names are throwing shade at each other on social media and in interviews. Organizations are struggling to find ways to compete with the Golden State Warriors. It is leading to drastic moves to form new super teams or destroy the rosters to rebuild with young talent.
The rumor mill is running wild with the latest scoops of what is going down behind the scenes in the NBA. We will look at the players side of things and what gossip they are currently discussing about the sport. Much like fans, reporters and organization personnel will break down the stories that are red hot in the NBA right now, players clearly engage in the same activity amongst themselves. Social media and interview quotes will show you they know everything going down. Let’s look at what the biggest behind the scenes stories in the basketball world are today with fifteen rumors currently circulating locker rooms in the NBA.
15 Kawhi Leonard Wants Out Of San Antonio
Kawhi Leonard is one of the premiere players in the NBA when he became a Superstar out of the blue. The elite play of Leonard saw him win the NBA Finals MVP in 2014 when the San Antonio Spurs ended the Miami Heat super team. Leonard continued improving and has been a perennial MVP candidate in recent years. Injury issues have limited his time on the court this season.
There have been rumblings that Leonard is growing unhappy on the Spurs. Jalen Rose claimed that Leonard wants to get traded since San Antonio struggle to add top name free agents to compete with the Golden State Warriors. Leonard leaving the Spurs would change the landscape of any organization and hurt the Spurs. Most players are secretly hoping their team could land Kawhi.
14 Isaiah Thomas Is Ruining The Cavs Locker Room
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in trouble as no one appears to be on the same page for them. Isaiah Thomas returning was expected to see them make the jump from a good to great team in the Eastern Conference. However, things have gone downhill for the Cavaliers since Thomas has joined the lineup. Cleveland’s defense is horrible and the lack of passing from Thomas at the point guard position hurts the team.
Thomas also questioned Kevin Love leaving a game for a headache. The rest of league is looking at Thomas as a huge problem in the Cavaliers locker room. Isaiah has reportedly formed a close relationship with team owner Dan Gilbert that has rubbed some players the wrong way. Everyone is looking at Thomas being a major problem for Cleveland as they hope to contend for an NBA Championship.
13 Players Want To Punish Lonzo Ball
The big mouth of LaVar Ball has made Lonzo Ball a target in the NBA. Lonzo has struggled to get acclimated to the NBA game as a rookie. Los Angeles Lakers fans are hoping he becomes the Superstar they badly need to get back to relevance in the playoff picture. Ball has been among the worst shooters in the league this season. It doesn’t help that teams are trying to shut him down every night.
Opening night saw Patrick Beverley essentially bully Lonzo to start his career. There are players gunning for him every night. The locker room talk heading into Lakers games appear to be about how much fun opposing players have making Lonzo look silly. It gets them more coverage since the media loves Lonzo. This all goes back to LaVar making life difficult for his son in the NBA.
12 Paul George Wants To Be A Laker
Speaking of the Los Angeles Lakers, they are looking to be a huge contender for top talent in the offseason. The game plan of Magic Johnson is to free up as much cap space as possible and try to progress the young talent on the roster. D’Angelo Russell was traded away for peanuts, so the Brooklyn Nets would absorb Timofey Mozgov’s contract.
LeBron James likely won’t sign with a mediocre Lakers squad full of unproven talent. There is one guy that badly wants to play for Los Angeles. Paul George will be a free agent after the season and the Lakers are rumored to be the top destination for the player. It has become common knowledge among the players that George is going to bolt Oklahoma City for the dream spot on the Lakers.
11 Players Think Draymond Green And Klay Thompson Are Overrated
The All-Star voting showed what players generally felt about their peers. Certain players like Devin Booker and Manu Ginobili did far better in the player vote than anyone expected. Meanwhile, a few top tier names did not place well. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green both finished poorly towards the bottom of the top ten when it came to Western Conference voting.
Green expressed frustration with the players trying to vote against him. Thompson and Green are clearly top players in the league, but their peers don’t want to see them get acknowledged as All-Stars in the current situation. Top tier Superstars Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry leading the team means both Thompson and Green have easier roles to find success. Many of the players to vote showed they believe both members of the Warriors are overrated right now.
10 Everyone Lost Respect For Clippers After Blake Griffin Trade
The Los Angeles Clippers fell from a contender in the Western Conference to a rebuilding team. Chris Paul left last summer after frustration of how Doc Rivers was running the team. Blake Griffin signed an extension to be the face of the franchise going forward after the Clippers talked him into how much they wanted him to spend his entire career there. This led to them to trading him less than one season into the new contract.
The move was done to rebuild with a new roster and hopefully attract LeBron James in free agency. However, James has already spoken out about how the whole situation shows just how disloyal organizations can be to players. Most NBA stars share the similar frustration and the Clippers will likely suffer for it being such a harsh example of the business. Don’t expect players with strong options on the market to choose the Clippers.
9 Kyrie Irving Is Enjoying The Cavaliers Falling Apart
Kyrie Irving shocked the basketball world when he demanded a trade away from the Cleveland Cavaliers just one year after winning an NBA Championship with them. The desire to leave came when Irving felt disrespected by the team having talks about trading him. Irving also wanted to go to a situation where he would be the face of the franchise and the Boston Celtics traded for him.
Boston has been the top team in the Eastern Conference this season with Irving having a superb season. The success seems to have him enjoying some pettiness at how poorly the Cavaliers are doing without him. Irving was caught liking an Instagram post of a video that showed LeBron James yelling at his teammates to get back on track after playing poor defense. There’s no doubt that Kyrie loves how everything is working in his favor this season.
8 Huge Issue With Referees
Things have never been this bad between the NBA players and referees. Players have shown zero respect for officials this season. Superstars have been getting technical fouls and many players are publicly venting about how poor the officiating is. Referees are being accused of having it out for certain players and going after them with their calls.
The hostility is strong enough that the NBA Players Association will hold a meeting with the referees at the All-Star break to discuss the issues. Both sides will try to have a common ground in sharing their frustrations. The fact that technology exposes the mistakes of the referees will give extra incentive to the players. Most fans are upset with the officiating as well that may cause the NBA to come down on the referees.
7 Players Sick of LeBron's drama
The NBA All-Star voting for the starters of the game now gives the NBA players a chance to be a part of the system. Along with fans and the media, players get a ballot to give their opinion over who should start. This year’s draft system meant the top vote getters in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference would be drafting the teams.
LeBron James finished first in the voting for the fans and the media, but he was shockingly second in the player vote. Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo placed higher on the list than James when it came to the opinions of the players. Charles Barkley stated that the players view LeBron as a drama queen and wanted to have someone finish above him. This isn’t a crazy thought given the amount of attention that follows James. His peers wanting to knock him down a notch was shown in the vote.
6 The Knicks Are Becoming An Attractive Destination
The New York Knicks have struggled to find relevance over the past two decades. Carmelo Anthony joining the team gave them hope but only won them one playoff series. The new face of the franchise is Kristaps Porzingis after Anthony was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Porzingis is already one of the most respected big men in the league today.
As mentioned earlier, the player vote for the All-Star Game gives us an insight into what the players think. Porzingis has finished high over the past two seasons. The Knicks will likely miss the playoffs, but they do show signs of getting better with young talent. ESPN’s The Jump saw a few experts claim that players are finally viewing the Knicks as an organization worth considering signing with. Porzingis is putting New York back on the basketball map.
5 Dissension About All-Star Draft
The new system of having a draft for the All-Star Game provides excitement for the fans. LeBron James and Stephen Curry captain two teams this year after drafting between the pool of the best players in the league. Sadly, fans were left in the cold as the draft was private and not aired as fans originally anticipated when the change was announced.
LeBron James, John Wall and a few other stars have gone on the record that the draft should be on television since everyone involved is an adult and it is a business. There have been a few players to state the other opinion. Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and others believe the negatives would put everyone in a bad situation. This is one rare issue where players don’t have a consensus on what the right move is. We'll have to wait and see if the draft is on television next season.
4 Chris Paul Thinks Blake Griffin Is A Coward
A shocking turn of events during a game this season showed just how much Chris Paul dislikes Blake Griffin. The two Superstars formed “Lob City” to make the Los Angeles Clippers among the most exciting teams in the league over the past few seasons. Paul chose to leave for a new start with the Houston Rockets after growing frustrated with the Clippers last offseason.
Griffin remained on the roster when Paul’s Rockets visited the Clippers for the first time this season. Paul cursed out Griffin and got into his face on multiple occasions. Near fights broke out during the game with players on both sides. Paul and various members of the Rockets even tried to get to the Clippers locker room for a post-game fight. The colorful language used by Paul throughout the game showed he felt Griffin was a coward and any relationship between the two is now hostile.
3 Russell Westbrook Will Never Forgive Kevin Durant
The disdain between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will likely never have an end to it during their playing careers. Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder and not even telling Westbrook in advance caused their friendship to turn into hatred. Westbrook has taken subtle shots at Durant and the Golden State Warriors since the change.
Both guys got into it in a regular season game in November. Oklahoma City scored the win as Westbrook talked trash to Durant. At one point, they literally went forehead to forehead cursing each other out. The belief in NBA circles is that Westbrook has zero desire to ever forgive Durant. There’s zero respect on his end. Durant has talked about making peace one day, but Westbrook doesn’t have a kind word to share about his former teammate.
2 Stephen Curry Is Not Respected
Stephen Curry is right up there with LeBron James when discussing the most popular star in the NBA today. Fans loved his style of play and you can’t argue with the results. The ascension of Curry saw him win two MVP Awards and lead the Golden State Warriors to three consecutive NBA Finals, winning two rings. However, many players in the NBA don’t share the same respect for Curry that fans do.
Various reports have indicated that LeBron James, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook are just a few of many NBA stars that believe Curry is overrated. They believe his lack of defense and one-dimensional game of elite shooting makes him less worthy of Superstar status, according to the rumors. Curry continuing to dominate the league likely adds jealousy in play as well. Regardless, many of Steph’s All-Star peers don’t have a lot of respect for him.
1 LeBron Joining The Warriors?
The biggest rumor to recently hit the NBA landscape is that the Golden State Warriors will look to add LeBron James in the offseason. Golden State already has the greatest super team of all-time that appears able to win as many NBA Championships as they want to stay together. Warriors General Manager Bob Myers wants to at least discuss a potential addition of LeBron James.
Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala would be part of a trade to land James. Kevin Durant would have to take a pay cut. LeBron would have to accept that his legacy would be tainted forever. It likely won’t happen, but it has become the biggest rumor in basketball. Most players would likely be livid at James forming an unbeatable team with Durant, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. No one would have the slightest of chances to compete with the Warriors.