Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Josh Hart feels overshadowed by the rest of the team’s young core.
The Los Angeles Lakers have a ton of personalities and name power. LeBron James brings a different level of attention and scrutiny to the organization. The free agent signings that followed him garnered a lot of attention for all of the wrong reasons, being named the Meme Team.
All of those veteran acquisitions were done, in part, to help elevate the level of the young players on the team.
The Lakers have an impressive young core that they have put together through the last three drafts. Brandon Ingram was selected No. 2 overall in 2016. In 2017, the Lakers selected Lonzo Ball No. 2, Kyle Kuzma No. 27 and Josh Hart No. 30.
There has been a lot of attention given to that group, and rightfully so. Ingram has been coined as a potential Scottie Pippen to James’ Michael Jordan. Ball, despite his shortcomings as a shooter, is an elite playmaker. Kuzma can fill up the basket with his offensive arsenal. Sometimes lost in the shuffle is Hart.
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Hart was the last pick of the first round in 2017 out of Villanova. He stayed in college for all four years, which knocked him down some draft boards because he is a little older than some of the other prospects. However, that extra experience definitely helped prepare him for the NBA.
Hart struggled with injuries in the early going but picked things up quickly once he was able to get onto the court. He proved his worth throughout his rookie season, showcasing his array of talents.
Hart stuffed the stat sheet the final four games of his rookie season, averaging 23.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists with five steals and two blocks. His skill set is also a perfect fit alongside James, as his defensive prowess and ability to spread the court with his 3-point shooting help James thrive.
To any Lakers fan, Hart is an integral part of the team’s core. However, Hart feels overshadowed by the other players in the young core. He shared these feelings when talking to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times.
“I think I’m still overshadowed,” Hart said this October. “Just because last year we had Zo, BI [Brandon Ingram], Kuz and like the young core … now you …so much, big personalities with the team. So I’m not, I like to have fun on social media and stuff like that but I’m not the crazy big personality that draws a whole bunch of attention.”
Hart does have a presence on social media, as he enjoys banter with his teammates. He is also big in the gaming community, specifically with Fortnite.
However, Hart is right when it comes to the personalities of the other players in the young core. Ingram seems reserved but as the No. 2 overall pick, he will always be a topic of discussion.
Ball has been known since his high school days, partly due to his father, LaVar Ball. Kuzma garners almost as much attention for his wardrobe and sneakers as he does for his performance on the court.
Hart may never garner as much attention as his other young teammates, but there is no doubt that he is an integral part of the young core. The organization knows they have a special player in Hart, as Magic Johnson once said he wishes he could have 20 Josh Hart’s.
While Hart feels overshadowed, there is no doubt that the team covets him. Johnson’s comments cement that.
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