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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. SurferDude - Mar 1, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    Lakers don’t need the Queen of Chokes aka Queen James. He will just suck their coffers dry without producing a championship. He’s all show but no results.

  2. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2010 at 3:07 AM

    yes, I do not know why Lebron wants to mess with the Lakers. My reason is he is jealous of Kobe Bryant. Kobe beat all those teams doing the champships games, now you can see why Lebron wants to be like KObe.

  3. scott643 - Mar 1, 2010 at 4:52 AM

    This is some reporter’s way of causing an effect, which is irresponsible when it is just a big, fat lie. Get some ethics, Lazenby – and quit spreading BS Moore.

  4. Fan - Mar 1, 2010 at 4:58 AM

    Lebron James is one of the greatest players ever; he’s better than Bryant; he is Jordanesque; I predict he will get his ring this year and it will be against the Lakers; history is going to repeat itself; but instead of MJ beating Magic & the Laker; it’s gonna be LJ beating Bryant & the Lakers; Michael was the greatest; it took him 7 years to get that first ring; this is Lebrons 7th year; It’s going to happen; no repeat for Kobe; because here comes Lebron.

  5. johnnyboy - Mar 1, 2010 at 5:08 AM

    trade Gasol, Fisher and Odom… start Kobe and Shannon Brown at guards, Bynam at center with Artest and James at the foward position….find a new winning coach to run the team, and walla….disaster. I’m not hoping for disaster cause I like the sound of that team….but it always seems the dream team looks better on paper than it can produce in the long run. anyone remember Dennis Rodman’s stint with the Lakers?

  6. Smart - Mar 1, 2010 at 6:27 AM

    Aaron, your a real IDIOT! There was no rape involved. Do your homework and read before making such a non-educated comment.
    Go Lakers!

  7. Amused - Mar 1, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    Gee Robert, that’s not a dream, that’s a halluncination!!

  8. btone - Mar 1, 2010 at 7:50 AM

    We saw the way Kobe acted when he was the 2nd best player on his own team when he ran Shaq out of town.
    There’s no way he’ll allow Lebron to come to L.A. He won’t stand for being the 2nd best player on his own team again.
    If this story gains momentum, get ready for a Kobe-sized, 3 year old tantrum.

  9. FishFearMe - Mar 1, 2010 at 8:10 AM

    Who needs LA with its great weather, beautiful women, Hollywood, beaches, etc. when you can have Minneapolis, the Mall of America, 6 month winters, and hay-fed women ? Sure, Cleveland’s about the same as Minny, but at least LeBron is from Ohio.

  10. Ricardo Westaby - Mar 1, 2010 at 8:40 AM

    Awesome blog post, thanks for keeping me busy!

  11. zeeman - Mar 1, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    It’s simple. Lebron is the futre of th league. Get him no why yu have a chance. Kobe is now on the downside f his caeer. Get Lebron and you will be relavant for 10+ years. Kobe has 2+ years.

  12. Marty - Mar 1, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    Weather LJ comes or not the Lakers can & should dump, Bill, Sasha, Andrew, Adam & Jordon meaning a TON of cap room to sign a REAL point guard & a REAL center that can move on D…

  13. ChitownMatt - Mar 1, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    Its gonna be a crazy summer, a free agency out of control storm. Which t-shirt do you cheer for???
    Who knows if this article has any substantive evidence or not? Who Cares? There is going to be so much wheeling and dealing nobody is going to know what happened for several weeks after it is all over.
    The Lakers would be stupid to dismantle a championship caliber team. Kobe is not that old; he came out of high school.

  14. bobdevo - Mar 1, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    @CK Dexter Haven:
    Having seen both Kobe and West play in person, I can tell you Kobe would not be able to guard West, plus West was a far better shooter than Kobe; I personally saw him score 44 against the Celtics in a championship game on a bad leg. He couldn’t drive, so he popped from outside. If there’d been a 3-point line, he would have scored 60.
    According to your logic, since you can’t compare players from different eras, Andrew Bynum may be better than Kareem or Wilt, cause you can’t trust the stats from back in the day.

  15. It Is True - Mar 1, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Aaron is right. Kobe is a rapist. Anyone who says he isn’t ignoring the fact that Kobe issued a statement (after paying off his victim so he she wouldn’t testify) that he knows she did not consent to his raping her. To anyone who is not just a Kobe-loving-fool, that means he admits raping her. But, I have seen a lot of Kobe-loving-fools on here.

  16. Laker fan in brooklyn - Mar 1, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Who is this King James guy and what has he ever won?

  17. Anton Chigurh - Mar 1, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    Not sure where you buy your crack but it is affecting your cognitive processes. (Psssst…Google it…)
    Kobe is over-rated in your pea brain…

  18. zaglossus - Mar 1, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Another NBC sportswriter spewing total garbage – NBA would never let this happen. It would be like Google winning the California Lottery and making the rest of the league a farm system for L.A. – almost like, reputedly, the A’s (when they were in KC and maybe still are) were for the NY Yankees. Yes, NBA fans want to see the stars but they also want a level field.

  19. SurferDude - Mar 1, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    The real KING in waiting is Kevin Durant. They call James “King” only because it sounds nice, even if it’s devoid of substance. Whoever started this “King” crap has an IQ level of zero.
    If they will ever replace Kobe, I would go with Kevin Durant. The great Michael himself and King Kobe are unanimous in saying that Kevin is the real deal – less hype but full of talent and excellent work ethic.
    Now that D-Wade has a ring, Kevin or Melo will get their rings first before Queen James gets his (which I DOUBT).
    Take that.

  20. xlakerfan - Mar 1, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    It makes purfect sense. Everyone knows that Kobe needs to prove something so that will open up the spot for LeBron. Kobe had to prove he could win without Shaq, next he needs to prove he can win with out the Lakers. Kobe will leave the Lakers this year and Lebron can take his place.

  21. jjallday - Mar 1, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    kevin durant sucks lakers are gonna take it this year again lebrons not welcome in laker land

  22. jj - Mar 1, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    what the hell are you talking about learn basketball then come back cat

  23. jj - Mar 1, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    thank you

  24. Democrats are Traitors - Mar 1, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    NYC, L.A., Dallas, Denver…. all these rumors
    Well, one (two actually) things are certian
    Bron Bron is leaving Cleveland and Cleveland ain’ eva gonna win a title evah!!!!!!!!!! In any sport!
    It’s critical for the future of the NBA that Stern gets LeBron outaa Cleveland and into a real market!
    Why?
    Cause Superstars don’t belong in Cleveland!
    They belong in NYC, Boston and L.A.
    BOOK IT!

  25. jania barnett - Mar 1, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    i think it would be stupid cuz if he were to go to LA then tht would take the shine away form kobe and tht isnt fair to him lebron would probably think he could take over my team and he cant cuz its kobes team so lebron and go somewhere else we dont need him at all sorry

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