LeBron James considers recruiting part of his job and knows that his success in Los Angeles will be tied to how effective he is in wooing free agents, as he told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in comments relayed by ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
The Lakers will have the salary cap room to bring in at least one top-level free agent this summer and James will be at the forefront of the recruiting process. He feels it’s important that the Lakers show growth this season in order to aid those efforts.
“It wasn’t hard getting guys in Miami, I’ll tell you that. So now that I think being in L.A., I don’t think it would be that hard to get guys here,” he told Nichols. “But we got to win, and at the end of the day, it’s all about winning. You know, and that’s what I’m trying to do right now, is to show prospects and free agents — and at the same time, show these guys that I got right now — that we can win now, and let’s not worry about the future.”
James raised some eyebrows recently when he said it would be “amazing” to play with Anthony Davis. James was not reprimanded by the league for the comment but some people around the league felt he got a free pass. James and Davis also met for a post-game dinner last week.
James says he’s been a recruiter since his early days with the Cavaliers.
“I’ve always recruited,” he said. “I’ve been trying to get guys to come play with me since, like, 2007. I’ve got rejected a lot. But I’ve also have not got rejected a lot.”
James also revealed that he spoke with Kevin Durant after the Warriors star was quoted as saying that many young players wouldn’t want to play with him since James dominates the ball. Durant was also quoted as saying that there’s a toxic environment surrounding James’ teams.
James said Durant was apologetic.
“Got a phone call from KD,” James said. “He mentioned how he felt and how the story … how he felt the story took a twist. And as a man, I can’t, I don’t hold onto things — too long. I’m too happy in my life right now, and I don’t hold onto anything that will take away from my happiness.”