Much has been made of LeBron James‘ league-changing decision to leave the Cavaliers and sign with the Lakers. Whether it be a change of scenery where James can play a different style of basketball or simply lucrative opportunities in Hollywood, his decision has widespread impacts.
However, during an appearance on NBA TV, James’ longtime agent, Rich Paul, explained that his client choosing the Lakers was a “basketball decision” which made him happy, per USA TODAY.
“It was basically about what he wanted to do and what made him happy. And he earned that being in his 16th season,” Paul said. “You don’t have athletes in their 16th season be the No. 1 free agent.”
- Magic Johnson‘s one-on-one meeting with James is what sealed his decision to sign with Los Angeles and the Lakers’ president discussed how that meeting unfolded, USA TODAY’s Sam Amick writes. Johnson described himself and James as mirror images of one another in terms of “championship DNA” and a focus on winning. “He was really happy that Rob [Pelinka] and I were not rushing, not making mistakes by rushing, and I told him that we had a three-year plan, we had a plan that we wanted to execute and that he could really take that plan to a whole ‘nother level,” Johnson said.
- Johnson also said that the Lakers will consult with James on signings and trades, as his input and experience holds a lot of value, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk writes. “We’re gonna go to LeBron and say if there’s a deal to be made for guys available, we’ll say to him, ‘What do you think about this guy? You know him. You play against him. You know the backstory and everything about the guy.'” Johnson said.