Magic recounts why LeBron was a slam-dunk signing for Lakers

Sports | 12 Jul 2018

Magic Johnson is nothing if not punctual.

The former playing great who is now the Los Angeles Lakers' president of basketball operations, sat in a car for an hour outside LeBron James' Southern California home on the night of June 30 before the NBA's free agency period opened. The meeting started promptly at 9.01pm, and the next day James announced he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Lakers.

"We connected right when I walked in the door," Johnson said. "Just two guys that talk free to each other and talk basketball - that's what I love about LeBron."

James, 33, did not need to be sold on the Lakers, Johnson said.

"He already knew the team - almost better than I did. He broke the roster down right in front of me. 'Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] likes to do this, so and so likes ... ' I was like, man, he knows the entire roster. Loves [coach Luke Walton's] system. He said, 'Earvin, you know, I just want to come and be able to just play basketball and be me. And you have the type of roster [on which] I can do that."

In the same Spectrum SportsNet interview, Lakers' general manager Rob Pelinka detailed how he learned James was joining the club. "I got a text from LeBron's agent, Rich Paul, and the text just said "Congrats.' And it had balloons. Does this mean what I think it means? He called seconds later with the official news."


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