The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2018 offseason with a gigantic stash of cap space to go along with even bigger goals. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka had painstakingly prepared for this moment, when all of their trades to free up room would allow them to chase the biggest free agent of them all: LeBron James.
And they got him.
James recently announced that he would be joining the Lakers through a simple press release from his agency, Klutch Sports.
In a piece by Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated, the moment James made the fateful call to announce his intentions to join the Lakers was captured:
On Sunday afternoon, James and his wife went back to Van Nuys Airport. They were flying east again, this time to Europe, for a couple’s trip. His advisors didn’t know if he’d pick a team before he left for Europe or after he landed, or even after he returned. They prepared an old-fashioned press release under the letterhead of Paul’s agency, Klutch Sports Group, but they weren’t sure if or when they’d distribute it. James phoned Paul as he was boarding the private plane. “Call the Lakers,” he said.
That decision set off a wave of excitement across Lakers Nation. After five years of rebuilding, James’ arrival meant that the Lakers would once again be working to win at the highest level.
James joins a team filled with young talents like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma. Since his announcement, the team has also come to terms with veterans Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee.
While the Lakers certainly aren’t done making moves and rumors of a Kawhi Leonard trade persist, they already appear to be much-improved compared to the team that won 35 games last season.
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