LeBron James wants the "narrative" around player movement to change in the NBA as the Los Angeles Lakers superstar called out a double-standard after Harrison Barnes was traded by the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavericks agreed to send forward Barnes to the Sacramento Kings in the middle of Wednesday's 99-93 victory over the Charlotte Hornets midweek.
Barnes, 26, was subbed out and remained on Dallas' bench for a short time before heading back to the locker room after he was informed of the move.
As the Lakers struggle to facilitate a trade for wantaway New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis, James discussed the mid-game deal involving Barnes on Instagram.
"So let me guess this is cool cause they had to do what was best for the franchise right?" James captioned a video of Barnes.
"Traded this man while he was literally playing in the game and had ZERO idea. I'm not knocking who traded him because it's a business and you have to do what you feel what's best.
"But I just want this narrative to start to get REAL/CHANGE and not when a player wants to be traded or leaves a Franchise that he's a selfish/ungrateful player but when they trade you, release, waive, cut etc etc it's best for them! I'm ok with both honestly, truly am."
Davis will not sign an extension with New Orleans and wants to be traded, agent Rich Paul told ESPN in late January.
The Lakers have reportedly been trying to acquire him before Thursday's deadline, while the Boston Celtics are also believed to be interested.
On Barnes' trade to the Kings, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlise addressed the deal post-game.
The Kings received forwards Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph from Dallas in exchange for Barnes, who is averaging 17.8 points this season.
"Everyone is aware that there was a trade, or is a trade in the works, involving Harrison," Carlisle said. "I got word of it during the game and so that is why he didn't play down the stretch, obviously.
"I had a chance to speak to him before everyone got in the locker room [after the game] and thanked him for over two-and-a-half great years of being a model pro and being one of the most improved players in the game. I am going to miss him an awful lot."
Mavericks veteran Dirk Nowitzki added: "I was playing in the fourth [quarter] still. I figured it's about time for Harrison to step in for me now. It was like eight minutes to go. I was like, 'He's not coming back. He's still there on the bench.' That's when I found out.
"Obviously disappointed for my guy. I think everybody knows how close we were. A great influence on the team, also in this community. He had an imprint so we're going to miss him."