LeBron, The New Look Lakers and The Legacy
Holy S**t. LeBron James is a Los Angeles Laker. My phone screen flashed with twitter notifications from Woj, then Shams, Bleacher Report and so on. It happened. I spent much of the afternoon of July 1st screaming, flexing on my cats and shooting jump shots into every garbage can in the house. I slipped on my LBJ jersey, said a prayer for the Cavaliers and walked to the closest basketball court with a s**t eating grin on my face. It felt like the best day of my life. After the most highly anticipated domino had fallen I felt as if I could stop refreshing twitter and breathe, especially after missing out on Paul George.
That lasted a very short while. My Phone sounded again, another tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski. The Lakers have signed Lance Stephenson. Um, ok I guess they have to fill out the roster and Lance is a gritty dude. I can handle that. Another notification. Javale McGee? I mean I love that dude with all my heart, but on my team? This is getting troubling. Now, they’re all on one year deals, which means cap space in 2019, that’s fair. If the Spurs don’t trade us Kawhi we need to be able to pay the man next year. Sounds good.
After the Lakers spending spree the other free agents around the league had fallen from the forefront of my mind. I went to sleep that night trusting that Magic and Pelinka or Maginka as some are calling them, would do right by LeBron and sign some more... normal guys? No way, Jose. Let’s grab Rajon motherf**king Rondo for 9 million dollars and let Julius Randle walk. These three dudes are the first signings we bring in after we land the best player in the world? This feels like bringing Bill Gates into a startup company and saying "Here are your assistants. Lance might blow on your face but he works long hours, Javale might not know what a computer is and Rajon loves Steve Jobs and might try to strangle you while you sleep". This may be a terrible analogy but these are doubly terrible signings.
Having LeBron automatically makes them a playoff team,but a contender? Last year's Cavaliers were horses**t to put it nicely. Yet they still made it all the way to the finals right? Well this isn't the easy east anymore and the Lakers are going to need a whole lot more than some school of J.R. Smith dropouts to compete. In the past it has been a cast of competent shooters that has propelled a James led team to the top and what we have here is the polar opposite. You can argue that this roster will be a giant improvement on the defensive end but is allowing LeBron to rest on defense enough to have him score literally every single bucket? No, the truth is this is a long game. LeBron signed a 4 year deal to allow the Lakers to do what Cleveland couldn't, build a super team. It may not happen this year but the security this lengthened contract provides along with the draw of L.A. are surely the leagues best chance of one day dethroning the Warriors. Unless, of course they do something like sign Boogie Cousins... but that would never happen right?
Well, nevermind. Despite the terrible free agents and the looming monster that is Golden State, the Los Angeles Lakers have been dragged out of the leagues basement and and given the attention of the world. Defeating the Warriors with this rag tag crew is impossible, but how might LeBron solidify himself as the greatest of all time? By doing just that, the impossible.