The NBA off season is a notoriously crazy time. Teams reshape their rosters, Rookies are drafted, the coaching Merry-go round is in full swing and disgruntled All Stars flex their muscles for contracts or trades.
But this summer was that much more crazy than usual. All because of one man……
Lebron James. Back in 2010 there was so much speculation and hysteria surrounding Lebron James’ free agency decision that there was a live TV special for Lebron to make his announcement to the world. On that occasion over 13 million people tuned in to watch James make his decision.
As we know, he signed with Miami Heat and was able to secure his 1st ever NBA championship. 4 years and back to back NBA titles later, Lebron returned to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, siting ‘unfinished business’ and a desire to deliver the city of Cleveland it’s first sporting championship in 60 years.
With the Akron native’s greatness on the line, LBJ made good on his promise as the Cavs won the NBA title in 2016 on the back of a finals MVP award.
Lebron James is now 33 years old, and is arguably beyond the point that most players generally peak in their careers. But Lebron is not most players. Lebron James almost impossibly appears to be getting stronger and if possible, better. Outlined by the fact he’s led the league in minutes played in the last 2 seasons, and owns the remarkable record of reaching the NBA finals for the last 8 consecutive seasons. (winning 3 of them).
And so here we are again.
With Lebron’s contract up following the Cavs expected defeat in the 2018 finals to Golden State Warriors, attention immediately shifted to where ‘the King’ would start the 2019 season.
Speculation had been rampant for literally years, with one team continually coming to the top of the list.
Los Angeles Lakers.
Throughout their storied history, the Lakers have constantly chased the biggest names and the marquee players in the game. Amidst the glitz of Hollywood and the history of ‘Showtime’ Lakers, the objective is always the same. Bring in the best. There is no other team that can rival the stature of legends and greats that have donned their clubs colours, quite like the LA Lakers. Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and now the king himself Lebron James.
But Lebron’s arrival in LA LA land isn’t expected to lead to immediate success. The Lakers have been one of the worst teams in the league for the last 3 season and have subsequently utilised the draft to load up on talented and hungry young stars of the future. A nucleus of Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball is a solid foundation to add the greatest player on the planet to. Although expectation of ‘success’ may be modest in the immediate future, promise and progress is expected and demanded. Adding Lebron alone, could very well make the Lakers a playoff team come next May. But it’s his impact on the growth and development of their young stars which is being equally depended. By committing to LA for the next 4 years, Lebron is accepting this is a project.
With a strong nucleus and the King pulling the strings – I wouldn’t expect it to be too long before we see showtime back in Hollywood once again.