The three-time NBA champion is immersed in the lore of the league and he couldn’t resist the lure of winning a title with one of its most
The Association’s most glamorous club has its most dominant individual force. And while the superstar has yet to hold his introductory press conference,
he’s already sparked frenzies with a tweet, a pizza party that wasn’t and a visit to the Las Vegas Summer League.
LeBron James influence is massive, but how much will his on-court presence mean to a team trapped in a five-year playoff drought? That’s the biggest storyline to follow with most of the primary free-agent signings in the books, but it’s far from the only reason for movement in the NBA ranking.
The Los Angeles Lakers needed to matter again, so they had no choice but to convince LeBron James to join their team. Basketball’s most glamorous
franchise has never done irrelevance well. They need a name on front of the Staples Center to make the building crackle and 41 nights of LaVar and
Lonzo Ball still left them miles from the Golden State Warriors.
The LA Lakers now has a team that can go a round in the playoffs, if not two. Given the recent Lakers, marching into the lottery to then stumble to the
bottom of the division, this is an excellent improvement for the club.
He chose to be a Lakers for what will probably be the four last great years of his career to win championships. Whether it’s right or not, he is constantly compared to Michael Jordan and the ultimate measure of his career for many is how close he can get to Jordan’s six titles.
It’s telling that the two men who have been able to convince James to leave Cleveland are Pat Riley and Magic Johnson. Riley, the Miami Heat president,
coached Magic – the current Lakers president – and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to four NBA championships in the 1980s. And while Riley has won three more of his
own as a coach and executive in Miami, the roots of Riley and Johnson’s success are with the 80s Showtime Lakers and their championship machine.
The Lakers, as they stand today are a good team. A relentless defender who will annoy opponents’ best scorers. McGee is a skilled center. Lonzo Ball, despite his failings as a shooter, is wonderful at seeing the whole court. James will make him better. James will also be good for young, promising players like Brandon Ingram, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Julius Randle and Kyle Kuzma – should they all remain.
Magic Johnson has delivered again for the only franchise he has ever known. He bought the Lakers relevance, a shot at adding to the row of championship
banners that line the Staples Center wall. Somehow, you have to figure, LeBron James will find a way to add at least one more.