Sorry LeBron, this is Lonzo’s team!
Why the Lakers will still be Lonzo Ball’s team even if they sign superstars LeBron James and Paul George
When LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami to form his first superteam with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat became ‘his’ team even though he and Bosh were newcomers joining what had been Wade’s team.
When LeBron returned home to Cleveland to form his second superteam with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, the Cavs became ‘his’ team even though he and Love were newcomers joining what had been Kyrie’s team.
So what happens if LeBron decides to bolt Cleveland a second time next summer to form his third superteam with Paul George and the Lakers? Do the Lakers then become ‘LeBron’s’ team like the Heat and Cavs?
That’s the question at the crux of the conundrum preventing many Lakers fans from fully embracing the idea of LeBron James joining the Lakers. They love the idea of the best player on the planet wearing purple and gold. They just don’t love the idea of selling their soul to the King, because LeBron doesn’t just join superteams; he thoroughly dominates them through his 1-year contracts, ownership of Krunch Sports, and power of his brand.
But the Lakers aren’t the Cavs and there’s no way Magic Johnson is going to ask General Manager Rob Pelinka or Head Coach Luke Walton to defer to LeBron James when it comes to team personnel or coaching decisions. That doesn’t mean LeBron won’t be given the respect he deserves as a superstar and best player in the world. It just means the Lakers aren’t going to give him the keys to the franchise and allow him to act as the GM and coach.
The Lakers team LeBron will hopefully be joining next summer is in an entirely different situation than the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavs teams he joined to form his first two superteams. While in rebuilding mode, this Lakers team already has a clear direction and vision and is committed to a dynamic young GM in Rob Pelinka, a highly respected young head coach in Luke Walton, and a once-in-a-generation rookie point guard Lonzo Ball.
That’s why, even though LeBron would be the best player on the roster and the team’s veteran leader, the Lakers still wouldn’t be ‘his’ team because that honor has already been awarded to Lonzo Ball, the transcendent point guard whom Magic Johnson called “the new face of the Lakers.” The Lakers don’t need or want superstars to give them a new direction. They just want superstars who fit their vision and want to play with Lonzo and for Luke.
LeBron also knows all of this and understands that things will be different if he decides to join the Lakers. And he is not the only potential superstar free agent whom rumors are linking to the Lakers next summer. Paul George, Russell Westbrook, and DeMarcus Cousins have also been linked by rumors to be interested in joining the Lakers, which opens up the real possibility of multiple superstar free agents joining up to form a Lakers superteam.
One thing for sure is Magic and Rob have the Lakers perfectly positioned for the summer of 2018 as the team with the most cap space in what could be the best superstar free agent class in NBA history. At the top of the Lakers’ big board is LeBron James, the best player on the planet who’s looking for the perfect venue to form ‘his’ third and last superteam. The Lakers are that perfect venue for LeBron but he will have to accept one reality…
Sorry, LeBron. The Lakers are Lonzo’s team!