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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. Marz - Feb 28, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Dumb article. Why would you give up someone who has helped in providing multiple rings -vs- someone who can’t get one out of one of those machines that you put quarters in. The Cavs can keep Lebron and Shaq! GO LAKERS!

  2. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 28, 2010 at 9:09 PM

    True, it’s POSSIBLE that such a rumor may have some merit. However, it’s HIGHLY IMPROBABLE that such a thing would come into fruition. Hence my skepticism.
    Then again, there’s the Gasol trade and Z coming back after getting Jamison.
    I guess that’s the NBA — where ANYTHING happens. LOL!

  3. Aaron - Feb 28, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    Get rid of Kobe now. I still can’t root for the Lakers till they get rid of this rapist.

  4. lvrlps - Feb 28, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    As long as the Lakers have Kobe (the best in the NBA) they are in no need of Lebron, he on the other hand may be in need of the Lakers. Go Kobe – Go Lakers!!!!

  5. lvrlps - Feb 28, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    For all the sanctimonious fools who continue to equate Kobe as a rapist – it never happened and if you still don’t like it – go root for the celtics! Laker fans don’t need or want you.

  6. Anonymous - Feb 28, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    what a MORON !!!

  7. Michael - Feb 28, 2010 at 9:50 PM

    Everybody knows the best player in the league, or one of the top 3 – is always in a Lakers uniform throughout history. It’s the premier franchise in sports arguably. At least next to the Yankees. Just the thought of James in the purple and gold must send shivers down peoples spines … why live in nowhere’sville when you can have your face up on mount rushmore and book a date with immortality amongst Kareem, Wilt, etc?

  8. Toby - Feb 28, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    Lazenbby probably has money on the Lakers and he wants to start rumor to annoy Lebron and further motivate Kobe.

  9. Edward - Feb 28, 2010 at 9:58 PM

    As a Laker fan, I could only wish. Our championship window is limited to Kobe Bryant, who has already peaked. With Kobe leading the way, we have two more years past this season. With LeBron, we are championship favorites for the next five years, perhaps longer as LA is a magnet for free agent talent.

  10. Edward - Feb 28, 2010 at 9:59 PM

    As a Laker fan, I could only wish. Our championship window is limited to Kobe Bryant, who has already peaked. With Kobe leading the way, we have two more years past this season. With LeBron, we are championship favorites for the next five years, perhaps longer as LA is a magnet for free agent talent.

  11. Edward - Feb 28, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    As a Laker fan, I could only wish. Our championship window is limited to Kobe Bryant, who has already peaked. With Kobe leading the way, we have two more years past this season. With LeBron, we are championship favorites for the next five years, perhaps longer as LA is a magnet for free agent talent.

  12. Captain AntiBS - Feb 28, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    Appears a writer is trying to impress his boss with miss-guided attention.

  13. Robert - Feb 28, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    Here’s how this would work. Both Kobe and Lebron sign with the Lakers for the veterans minimum announcing they both have enough money and they are going after the record for most championships in a row.
    Kobe plays the PG in the triangle, with Lebron playing out of the SG position. Artest at SF, Gasol and Bynum.
    Second Unit is newly signed (Veterans minimum) Marcus Camby at Center, Odom at SF, Newly signed (with Kobe and Lebron money) Carlos Boozer at PF, Shannon Brown and Derek Fisher at the guards.
    First unit plays the first quarter, second unit the second quarter, first unit the third quarter and whoever has the hot hand and isn’t injured plays the fourth. This continues until minor injuries take their toll, then the injured can sit without worry until healed.
    The first team to win 75-80 games.
    If you’re going to dream, might as well dream big.

  14. Livelife - Feb 28, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Very possible scenario is a sign and trade if King James forces the issue. And why would he not want to be a Laker. The Lakers have proven more often then not to have a championship caliber team. Kobe on the downswing of his career and Lebron on the upswing. Lebron and the Lakers would mean numerous titles. If it’s POSSIBLE, Dr. Buss (the best owner in sports) will get it done.

  15. Jay Abramson - Feb 28, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    At last someone who knows Laker History. I rank the Lakers Magic, Kareem, Zeke, Elgin, and Wilt. Kobe is great but he has played in a much weaker era, and with far less competition.

  16. fargo1 - Feb 28, 2010 at 11:17 PM

    It will never happen. It’s only PR to boost Lebron Jame’s marketability. James is one of the most over-hyped B’ball players in history.

  17. Livelife - Feb 28, 2010 at 11:43 PM

    The one thing we know is that Kobe has a full no trade clause so the Lakers can only move Kobe if he wants it.

  18. City-Data Forum - Feb 28, 2010 at 11:50 PM

    From the article: “abandoning arguably the second greatest player in franchise history, “.
    Kobe might not even make the starting lineup of an all Laker team: Wilt or Kareem at center (Shaq would be the third center off the bench),
    Elgin, Worthy (OK, that’s easy),
    Which two guards from Magic, Jerry and Kobe? Pretty tough call.

  19. NRESQ - Feb 28, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    I want some of what you’re on, dude. Ever hear of the NBA salary cap? LeBron take less than the max? When is the last time that happened? Suggest you stick to curling, something a little more your speed.

  20. NRESQ - Feb 28, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    Dude, you’re smokin’ crack! About as likely to happen as Michael Jordan coming back.

  21. Robert - Mar 1, 2010 at 12:32 AM

    I don’t know Matt Moore. He may be a heck of a guy. Just reporting something rattling around somewhere. But this whole thing is beyond absurd. It’s just silly. Outright silly.
    And why so many of us sports bloggers think we should be hired to write the NBA.
    I’m not going to blame Matt for this. But those he works for should find something better for him to do. I could have done this one. For Free. You could call my column “Pipe Dreams”.

  22. Jeffrey A Early - Mar 1, 2010 at 12:48 AM

    I think the idea is wonderful: once everyone sits down and realizes that in los angeles we do have a great tradition of sport winnings were in a position to Compete instead of burning out Blk Mamba I think this would make Kobe was Koby that has made everyone around the league better men ..Excuse me Koby$Shag Shag$Koby now is there any one else that wants some step up thats all.. Koby can be like our NFL boy Favre go on vacation and just pressure just think after two seasons(Free Agent that he deserves) of that..being a free agent has its advantages..Meantime let King james step in and get his ring ..get coached by who he wants he deserves it..boom the whole team can be in a position to take a better perspective on things i hope it happens

  23. Luvheat - Mar 1, 2010 at 1:19 AM

    Totally agree!!! Ride out Kobe and then rebuild…suck it L.A. this aint the yankees

  24. Luvheat - Mar 1, 2010 at 1:33 AM

    *meant suck it up L.A.* not “suck it”

  25. Quinton - Mar 1, 2010 at 2:08 AM

    WE LOVE KOBE & COMPANY!!!!!!!!

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