You May Not Know Josh Hart Yet, but You Will

The second-year guard is often overlooked as part of the Lakers’ young core, but he may be the one LeBron James can rely on with the game on the line.

LeBron James walks out of a side door onto the main floor at the Lakers practice facility and instantly draws a crowd. Eyes, phones, and cameras follow his every step as he heads to the podium. It’s James’s first media day in Los Angeles, but it might as well be a coronation.

Minutes later, Josh Hart emerges from the same door as casually as he would step out of his front door every morning. Quickly, he realizes he has nowhere to go. So he waits and looks on as the madness unfolds. Later, when LeBron stands in front of a white backdrop flanked by teammates Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma, Hart looks on with his arms crossed and a slight smile. He’ll have to wait his turn.

“I’m like in a gray area,” Hart tells me after a Lakers practice in late September. Asked where he sees himself fitting into the retooled Lakers lineup, the second-year shooting guard shrugs. “I have no idea. You have the young core, and then you have the best player on the planet, and then you have the vets, so I’m just floating around. It’s challenging, but it is what it is.”