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Report: LeBron wants to be a Laker

Feb 28, 2010, 5:56 PM EDT

Roland Lazenby is pretty plugged in to Laker culture. He recently released a book on Jerry West (see Kurt’s talk with him here and here). Today he releases what will likely be considered a bombshell in some circles.

From HoopsHype:

“The greatest NBA free agent of all time, LeBron James, is quietly making overtures to the Los Angeles Lakers.

He wants to play for them. And James is not all that concerned whether Kobe Bryant
is part of the equation. Bryant, of course, has yet to sign a contract
extension with L.A. and could wind up a free-agent himself, albeit one
with high mileage.”

Lazenby goes on to outline the complicated nature of the ownership situation in LA and the relationship with Phil Jackson and galpal Jeannie Buss. It reads pretty much like something in between a Twilight novel and Pride and Prejudice. The meat at the beginning, the selling point, though, is clearly “LEBRON= LAKERS, GETCHA POPCORN.”

There are about a million reasons to doubt this. Making room for what James would want, even if he were to take a paycut, would mean dumping Kobe Bryant or multiple components of the Lakers’ championship-level core. Would they do that to get James? Would Lakers fans accept James after developing a blood rivalry over the Kobe v. LeBron debate?

The odds of this happening are pretty low. It would mean a total revision of everything the Lakers have worked for over the past three years, abandoning arguably the second greatest player in franchise history, or the alternative, paying a luxury tax amount that would be enough to subsidize sending every child in the greater Los Angeles area to college.

Lazenby’s sources suggest that a key component to James is being coached by Jackson, who he likely ties into his Jordan-obsession. It’s an interesting idea, to think of one of the greatest small forwards of all time in the triangle. And obviously, LA is a terrific market for LeBron to grow his empire from.

Then again, why would he want to enter into a situation where he’s got so much history to compete with? Why would he want to work into taking over Kobe’s town? Why not just go where he can run things any way he wants (like Brooklyn, or, gasp, Cleveland)?

We’ll have to see if there’s any teeth to this rumor, or if this is yet another pipe dream in the James championship sweepstakes.

114 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Bill Gardner - Mar 18, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    As a 40 Year hater of the Lakers (SUNS FAN) I can only pray that the Lakers let Kobe walk and sign LE BRONZO. While Lebron is a great player, he is not the Playoff and last second BEAST that Kobe is and never will be. Sure quote this stat and that stat, but Bron Bron aint won a title never mind what 4 or 5 for Kobe? Anyway this is Wack, since Buss has owned this team they have never signed a free agent star and the Lakers aint traded for the big piece since Kareem and that was a long time ago. Kobe like Magic before him will die a Laker and that’s too bad cause he could look great anywhere in the East away from the SUNS!!

  2. jeff ayala - Mar 18, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    sorry Lebron not enough ball to go around

  3. lebron - Mar 29, 2010 at 4:35 AM

    Lebron shoe Nike, just like his master, as arrogant, and there is no flaw, no rival,making competitors feeling fear,it is the real king.Lebron shoe Nike looks simple and briefness, fashionable and elegant in style, is a perfecta basketball shoe series

  4. 85celticsfan - Apr 2, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    come on,that would b the dumbest trade ive ever guys must b bored huh

  5. JROYAL - May 16, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    you cant be serious about Kobe vs West,Koby would eat WEST alive LOGO and all.ENUFF said

  6. JROYAL - May 16, 2010 at 12:02 AM

    you cant be serious about Kobe vs West,Koby would eat WEST alive LOGO and all.ENUFF said

  7. insider - May 17, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    You heard it here first…
    Got inside scoop from Cavs personnel that Lebron interested in playing for the lakers is legit. They are looking into a sign-trade (not kobe). However, more than likely it won’t work out.

  8. That Guy Ya Dig - May 22, 2010 at 4:01 AM

    Hey you idiots if you don’t think this can happen then you are really crazy. Just think if Lebron leaves Clevland in free agengy the cavs get nothing. The Lakers can trade Andrew Bynum who had proved he is injury prone lol with a couple other pieces for Lebron from Cleveland in a sign and trade deal. In the end Lebron just wants to win and why not in LA. I’m not saying it’s goin to happen but it’s definelty not far fetched.

  9. truelakerfan - May 24, 2010 at 5:09 AM

    Alright here it goes… hoopsmccann,old school, and bill…are the only ones who seem to know and understand the game of basketball…. and hoops… man ive noticed in lamar odom what you mentioned… I told a friend once that odom should be in the top 3 players in the league!!! Kobe1st, (you’ll can fill in number, 2), then lamar 3… my friend thought I was crazy… but when he drives the ball up the court the defense doesn’t know what to do! He can score with the left or right hand, not to mention he can really handle the ball so good… the only problem is, he’s not a spotlight type of player…that’s the reason he’s not at the level he should be…
    ….o and to all you idiots making the comparison to all the laker greats… first we’re talking about different positions on the court, two different eras… and 3, stats dont really mean much because of the level of athleticism in the sport today….its way heigher… i can tell when a person makes these kind of comments they don’t know the first thing about competitive basketball….. the only player that you can compare kobe to is Micheal Jordan… and even one on one kobe would beat him… trust me… if you put both time spands together and have them play at their prime. .. Kobe would beat him… Michael is one of the greatest cause he has 6 rings, but I can see kobe exiting the building with 8… well as long as phil Jackson keeps coaching the Lakers… and lebron coming to the lakers would be the best decision lebron will ever make…if they give him the chance… at the end of the day lebron hasn’t won a single ring… don’t get me wrong hes a great player! Ive watched him play. ..but before you compare him to kobe or even Jordan he needs at least two rings… I will say… he is overrated in that sense, point is, unless he wants to get one ring, leave Cleveland,even better, leave the eastcost dude… after this year the Lakers have 3 more championships to win and you can quote me on that, and kobe is gonna retire at 37 or 39… with 8 rings…belive that!

  10. keiara - May 24, 2010 at 9:00 AM

    this is stupid never shall lebon go to the lakers

  11. Lison Miller - May 24, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    Man King Bryant & Prince James Need To Hook Up So They Can Win All The Rings….Go L.A. Lakers

  12. justin - May 25, 2010 at 10:38 AM


  13. Howard Barnes - Jun 10, 2010 at 12:04 AM

    It’s a possibility. I’ve heard a lot of talk about it
    out here in L.A. on the media. Apparently, James has
    connections to the franchise that aren’t public
    knowledge. That, Jerry Beuss’s money pockets, and
    a guaranteed cup could do it.

  14. laker town - Jun 24, 2010 at 2:14 AM

    First and foremost, Kobe is not on the down swing, old or past his prime. Kobe is in his leadership prime, he can still consistently shoot from anywhere and against anyone in the NBA. His basketball IQ is off the charts. As far as LBJ is concern, he is more than welcome to wear the purple and gold and would be a great addition to the team but not at the cost of ruining the chemistry of a well oiled machine that’s been in the works for the last 3 years. LBJ will have to follow the lead of Kobe Bryant if he is to join the Lakers. Besides, LBJ still has a lot of things he needs to learn about leadership of a team and Kobe can show him the ropes. Championship is not about the talent of one player, if that’s the case, then the Cav’s would have won the championship, but they didn’t because it’s a team game. therefore, the Lakers would be a fool to ruin a strategy and a team composition that has proven to be a championship caliber team for the sake of 1 player that has yet to prove himself as a good enough leader to lead a team to a championship.

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