LeBron James has been at the top of the NBA news cycle since choosing to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time in his career. As all fans know, James signed a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. It was expected by many, but the move happening still shocked the entire league.
Recent reports have stated that James had strongly considered signing with the Philadelphia 76ers instead of the Lakers. While those reports have mainly come from people in Philadelphia, they are not true.
According to a report from ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst, James never gave the 76ers any kind of serious consideration.
“No, I don’t think he seriously considered [the 76ers]. I think he considered them. They were on the board. He didn’t even grant them a face-to-face meeting…. This year, he only met one team face-to-face; he only talked to two teams—the team he was leaving and the team he was going to.”
So much for “The King” joining “The Process” to lead them to the promised land.
Now, James will be joining the most storied franchise in NBA history. Magic Johnson, one of the best players to ever play in the NBA, is running the team and has been in very close communication with James. Despite the fact that the Lakers do not have a second proven star to pair with James, they are very confident moving forward.
Philadelphia would have been an intriguing landing spot for James this offseason. They could have offered him a “big three” of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and himself. Those three players would be very difficult to stop from getting to the NBA Finals in the Eastern Conference.
Last season with the Cavaliers, James put together one of the best seasons of his career. Even at 34 years old, James is finding ways to continue dominating and even improving. Cleveland struggled throughout most of the season, but James powered them to the NBA Finals where they were swept by the Golden State Warriors.
All of that being said, no one should be surprised to see this report. As much as the 76ers wanted James, he did not give them much interest in return. Not being willing to meet face-to-face with them meant that he had already made his mind up about leaving Cleveland to sign with Los Angeles.
Expect to see James find success with the Lakers and for the 76ers to continue improving in the East. Not getting James was disappointing for Philadelphia, but the front office knew that their chances weren’t good.