After opting out of the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James became the most coveted superstar in the 2018 NBA free agency market. Since the 2017-18 NBA season ended, the Los Angeles Lakers emerged as the top landing spot for James. But, most people believed that the only way the Lakers could convince “King James” to go west was by adding at least one legitimate superstar to their roster.
LeBron James spent the last eight seasons playing alongside other NBA superstars like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. However, James did the unexpected as he decided to join a Lakers team mostly consisting of young players. In a recent appearance on Uninterrupted Network, reported by Lakers Nation, James made his first public comment about joining the Purple and Gold.
“It’s kind of like a dream come true for me. Growing up, I was a cowboys fans, I was a Bulls fan, I was a Yankees fan. I’ve always felt like that was one of the historic franchises. And you look at the Lakers, being able to play for a historic franchise with so much history, and now being able to partner with Magic Johnson, someone I kind of looked up to when I was younger. Wanted to make no-look passes like Magic, wanted to get on the break and be ‘Showtime’ like Magic.”
I am so proud of this project. Athletes and artists get to have a real, uninterrupted discussion the way we always do. Politics, race, culture, music fashion…all of it. #IAmMoreThanAnAthlete https://t.co/TcpwJ38ANW
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 26, 2018
The arrival of LeBron James in Los Angeles is expected to end the Lakers’ playoff drought. However, despite acquiring arguably the best basketball player on the planet, it is still hard to see the Lakers fully dominating the Western Conference next season, especially with the emergence of powerhouse teams like the Houston Rockets and the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
After failing to acquire their target superstars in the free agency market, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka decided to sign several role players like JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, and Michael Beasley. The controversial signings earned plenty of criticisms, but Johnson and Pelinka said that every move they made is part of their plan.
As of now, the Lakers must be aware that they need to surround LeBron James with quality players to help him bring the Lakers back to their former glory. Aside from chasing another superstar in 2019 free agency, it will not be a surprise if the Lakers pull a blockbuster trade before the February NBA trade deadline.