The free agency frenzy has lived up to its hype. Yesterday, arguably the best player in basketball announced that he was going to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Never in a million years did I think this would ever happen. There were various rumors going around after the NBA Finals that there was a possibility he would consider the Lakers. As free agency opened, media caught a glimpse of James and his family landing at Van Nuys airport in Southern California. From there, the speculation started to gain traction that the Lakers were a viable option for the superstar. At exactly 5:08PM PT, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN dropped a bomb and let the world know that LeBron James agreed to join the Lakers. It would be a 4-year, $154M deal. It was actually a shock to see 4-years as opposed to maybe a 1 or 2 year deal. After all, James has been known to take very short-term deals. That length of a contract tells me that James has the utmost confidence in the Lakers front office and what they can do going forward. James being in Los Angeles drastically changes the landscape of the NBA.
LeBron James has agreed to 4-year, $154M deal with Lakers, Klutch Sports says.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2018
Los Angeles Times writers Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner break down the story of how all this came about. According to them, Magic Johnson was at the James residence at 9:01PM PT, exactly when free agency opened up. Here are some pieces from the article:
“They talked about basketball and what the Lakers’ future could be, according to sources not authorized to speak publicly. James was already interested in the Lakers. He didn’t mind that the Lakers weren’t a ready-made championship team; he could help build that. They bonded as men who’d grown up in the Midwest, men who saw basketball as a doorway to the business world and a way to effect social change.
For five years the Lakers wandered through an NBA desert, amid the twilight of Bryant’s career as his body no longer allowed him to be the player who helped lead the Lakers to titles. For five years the 16-time champions couldn’t make the playoffs.
In three of those years they set franchise records for futility. The 55 games they lost in the 2013-14 season were the most in the franchise’s history. Until the next year when they lost 61 and the year after that when they lost 65.
No superstar free agent came to save them. But the Lakers front office kept hoping and assuming.” (You can read the full article HERE)