Yesterday, news broke that LeBron James, at least the best small forward in NBA history, will be in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform at the start of the 2018-19 regular season. While it just might have been the worst kept secret of all-time leading into free agency, what isn’t a secret is that James and family have a lot more off-the-court incentives to want to be in Los Angeles.
Back in the day, whenever there was the talk of a big-time free agent headed to La La Land, the inevitable chatter would be how the Lakers were a favorable destination due to the fact that additional advertising and promotional dollars would be almost a certainty for a big-time personality. Additionally, there was once a certainty that the Lakers would be perennial contenders for an NBA championship.
Stephen A. Smith goes live on Periscope to react to the news of LeBron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers to a 4-year/$153.3M contract.
Nowadays, an all-world talent like LeBron doesn’t need to be in Los Angeles in order to have a great marketing team, nor does he need to live in LA to pursue interests in the film business or have a shot at winning another championship.
But what are some of the other reasons why King James decided to make the Staples Center the epicenter of his kingdom?
The James Gang turned UP in Miami this weekend as Bronny and Bryce took over South Beach! FULL MIX: https://t.co/qLMpN13Gy5 https://t.co/6mCvmwaCx1
Prognosticators have been speaking of the likelihood of James picking the Lakers for a few years now, especially with him owning several properties in Los Angeles. Then, when it was speculated that his son Bronny James, a top-tier basketball player in his age group, would enroll at basketball powerhouse Sierra Canyon in Orange County (CA)for his freshman year of high school, it seemed like a certainty that James would be pulling up to the Staples Center.
Family has long been a primary impetus for LeBron. Not only is Bronny a burgeoning young talent, but children Bryce and Zhuri are reportedly very excited about living in Tinseltown full-time. Mrs. Savannah James is reportedly very happy about the move as well. As a matter of fact, she has long been on record as loving Los Angeles.
Winning A Championship Much Sooner Than Later
LeBron believes there is a chance that the Lakers can be a contender sooner rather than later. With the Cleveland Cavaliers revealed as ineffectual and out-manned at critical moments during the postseason, it had to have been immediately apparent to LBJ that he needed more from his teammates. Older, past-their-prime players with gigantic contracts and diminishing abilities, some of which James himself helped get done, cost him big-time in the 2018 NBA Finals.
It’s bigger than a boneheaded play by JR Smith. James had to know that any future championships would not come from his Cavs roster. With him firmly in place as the centerpiece, it’s only a matter of time before another superstar or two comes to join him in a Laker uniform.
The Lakers Mystique
Back To Being A Laker Again! WOOOOO! Congratulations @KingJames! #lakers #lebronjames
The allure of the Lakers has been something that has inspired many greats over the years to wear the team’s iconic purple and gold. From Wilt Chamberlain to Shaquille O’Neal, to Bob McAdoo and others, individuals who come to the Lakers often do so because the franchise has an incredible brand name, as well as a great winning tradition; 16 Championships, 31 Conference titles and 23 Division titles is impressive no matter how it’s quantified.
Couple that with the historical precedent of having Magic Johnson as a General Manager, and it’s easy to see how LeBron made the choice to jump over to the left coast.