Pacific Notes: Lakers, Green, Cousins, Cauley-Stein

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant played a key role in bringing LeBron James to Los Angeles this summer, Sam Amick of The Athletic reveals in a new story.

Bryant, who spent his entire 20-season career with the Lakers, met with team owner Jeanie Buss in February of 2017 to deliver strong advice: Shake up the front office, start new and bring a new culture to the franchise.

“Jeanie, I know who we’re trying to get; we know who we’re trying to get, so that player is not going to come here with all of this s–t going on,” Bryant said, according to Amick. “It’s not going to happen. So if you do want to have that focus, and go after that player, then I’m telling you that you’ve gotta clean house, and you’ve gotta just reshuffle the deck and start anew. You have the new practice facility (the UCLA Health Training Center) that we’re just moving into (in the summer of 2017). We’ve got new management, and off we go. But that player is not coming here unless you do that.

“As a player, it’s like, listen, it’s a cultural thing. You’ve got to have the right culture around, especially for him at this stage of his career,” Bryant explained. “You don’t want to come to a team and deal with a bunch of bull—-, right? You don’t want to come here and be part of an organization where the walls are talking and stuff is getting out left and right and you have this camp and that camp. You don’t want to do that. So I said, ‘You’ve got to start anew.’”

Buss listened to Bryant’s advice, firing older brother Jim Buss and letting go of general manager Mitch Kupchak. In turn, the team promoted Magic Johnson to president of basketball operations and hired Rob Pelinka as new general manager. Fast forward to July of 2018, and the new-look Lakers convinced James to sign a free-agent contract.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

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10 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Lakers, Green, Cousins, Cauley-Stein

  1. Boston2AZ

    Good thing Kobe was there to straighten them all out. They couldn’t have done it without him. LOL!

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      • x%sure

        Even if Kupchak was doomed anyway, it is possible that a goal of landing James kept everyone rowing the boat in sync.

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  2. Dionis

    Giles and Bagley are the 4 and 5 in Sacramento Willie. Maybe someone else will pay you. Willie is not better than Giles or Bagley.

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    • Todd_Joseph

      Bold statement considering either bagley or Giles has yet to play in an nba game yet but hey, it’s u Dionis

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  3. Never mind that Giles missed all last season with injury too Dionis. All three have looked decent during preseason so far, and you very well could be proven right at some point this year, but it strikes me as too early to anoint Bagley and Giles as better than WCS yet.

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    • bitterpadresfan

      If they aren’t the Kings are going to win about 7 games next year.

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  4. formerlyz

    I dont like the fit for Bagley in Sacramento as of now, but we’ll see how that goes

    Harry Giles looks like a totally different person after sitting out last year. He went from clearly having no legs under him, and massively diminished athleticism to potentially being Chris Bosh. I’m excited to see how he does, but I also see the log jam at that 5 spot on this team, as well as a couple of redundancies both there and at that backup combo guard spot, with the need for another wing player.

    I’m a fan of WCS, but I always thought he would better with a different team. They have to figure out what to do with all of their bigs, b/c those guys have potential, and need chances to keep developing

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  5. x%sure

    Bagley would be a mystery fit anywhere. His talent level expands possibilities and he may prioritize personal notions. The Kings should be interesting this year.

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