LeBron will be playing in the famous Purple and Gold of Los Angeles Lakers for the next years. Find out about the deal and money involved! This, I tell you, is a seismic move for the LA Lakers to have THE athlete of this generation (and maybe ever) to go to THE franchise in NBA history (Boston and Spurs folks will argue that).
This is such a bigger plate than just trying to win a championship; this is planting his flag in Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and having Magic Johnson (not running basketball operations) as a mentor and guide is the right move and it makes a lot of sense in every sense of the word.
However, from a sporting point of view, those in the know are reporting that on Sunday 01 July, in the afternoon, LA Lakers was in the phone with R. C. Buford, San Antonio Spurs’ General Manager, regarding Kawhi Leonard. Just imagine a LeBron – Kawhi combo.
Think about this for a second, LeBron is in LA and Kawhi is coming to LA (whether that’s now or at the end of the season, is up to the San Antonio Spurs). On the table, Magic Johnson and Lakers have made it very clear that Kyle Kuzma is off limits. Boss move, if you ask me.
Spurs want multiple 1st round picks, Ingram and Kuzma. However, Lakers know they have some leverage in this trade engagement because Kawhi has already made it clear that he wants to join the Lakers and he doesn’t mind playing with the GOAT…er…ahem, LeBron James, I mean.
The Spurs have a decision to make! Period! Spurs could play hardball and do nothing or they could make a deal happen. Spurs have to figure out something because here’s the reality: Kawhi messed them up when he let the world know he wants to be in LA. That means everyone else recognises they ain’t nothing but a 1-year rental for Kawhi. And they ain’t trying to lose big pieces for a 1-year rental.
Spurs could sit-up and say, “Kawhi, we don’t give a damn what you think, we are going to pay you the 20 million and you’re going to show up and play. And that’s it!” The problem is, I wouldn’t put it past Kawhi to tell them, “ya’ll kiss my arse. I am not playing for ya’ll. I’ll be hurt for the 2018/19 season”. So, that’s what going on in Tinseltown at the moment. Ah yeah, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee have also signed with LA Lakers too.
Now, let’s go back to LeBron. This move buys LeBron time. He’s not the favourite (to a lesser degree if Kawhi doesn’t go to LA). Essentially, LeBron is playing with house money. His family is there; his business interests are being served there; the weather is beautiful (so I hear). Because of all of this, LeBron is in a situation where he’s devoid of pressure for the first time in his career. All he has to do is get the Lakers to the playoff. The Purple and Gold haven’t been to the playoffs in 5 years. If he gets them to the playoffs, they are good. And because they’re good with the playoffs, they are good, PERIOD.
I’ll admit, there’s a little bit of pressure from this perspective, though; other than Elgin Baylor, every star that’s ever worn the Purple and Gold of the Laker nation has delivered a championship. LeBron can’t be the one that fails to do so. That’s not a good look. But that’s about it.
Segun is a budding, freelance writer for Newslibre. He loves football, basketball, books, music (all things Birdie and flirts with a bit of Jazz), Philosophy and is an ultra-marathon runner.