Josh Lewenberg: Jesse Mermuys (Lakers asst/former Raptors 905 coach/quality human) on @OverDrive1050 re: coaching LeBron- “I don’t know if you can get a better opportunity in the NBA than to coach 1 of the greatest players of all-time. I’m excited. I’ve been in grind mode ever since I found out”
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Ohm Youngmisuk: Magic said before he met with LeBron, he studied film of LeBron when he was first in Cleveland, when he got to Miami, when he returned to Cleveland and this last season to see how he’s been at every stage. He said LeBron noticed his preparation, keeping it all about basketball
Kevin Ding: Magic: “LeBron is the greatest leader in sports.”
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward LeBron James, it was announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
“Today is a great day for the Lakers organization and Lakers fans all over the world to welcome LeBron James, a three-time NBA Champion and four-time NBA MVP,” said Lakers President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “LeBron is special. He is the best player in the world. He loves to compete and is an awesome leader who is about winning and making sure that his teammates are successful. The Lakers players are excited to have a teammate who has been to nine NBA Finals. It’s a huge step closer to returning the Lakers to the playoffs and to the NBA Finals.”
“This is a historic moment for the Lakers, and we could not feel more grateful and honored,” Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka said. “When LeBron James – a perennial NBA MVP and champion who is playing at the most astonishing levels of his career – chooses to join the Lakers, it serves as the ultimate validation for what we are building here. However, we all know that the work is not yet done. We will continue forward and do all that is necessary to achieve our shared obsession of bringing banner No. 17 to the world’s best fans – Lakers Nation.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Agent: LeBron James has signed his four-year, $153M deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Klutch Sports: Officially signed with the @Lakers @KingJames
Blaze Pizza: Los Angeles—are you ready for the King of all pizza parties?! We’re celebrating @KingJames arrival in LA with free pizzas on 7/10! Stop by any of our LA locations between 2-5pm for your free pie! Let’s welcome #LAbron to LA the only way we know how! LeBron James: Haven’t been to a pizza party in a minute 🤔 Culver City? 👀🍕
David Aldridge: In the interim, James will be surrounded by tough-minded, veteran, defense-centric players (along with the re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) who’ll create turnovers and allow LeBron to take a break at that end of the court — where his effectiveness has dropped off significantly the last couple of seasons.
YouTuber ToNYD2WiLD caught [Lonzo Ball] commenting on LeBron’s impending arrival while at a Big Baller Brand pop-up shop at Sole Play in Lawrenceville. “Ah man, it’s dope, bro,” Zo said simply.
David Hardisty: Mike D’Antoni on LeBron James joining the Lakers: “You hate it, but that’s how the league is. It just makes us to try to get a little better. It’s going to be a heck of a race in the Western Conference, I know that much.”
But the Lakers are indeed attempting to chart a new course for James’ Lakers future, one that is vastly different from the style of basketball he played with the Cleveland Cavaliers. “Unlike most free agents changing teams, LeBron is arriving with the Lakers as an all-time great,” a source close to James said. “He doesn’t have pressure to prove anything. He wants some changes, and he can afford to let the process breathe.”
That also follows with the talents of the 6-foot-6 Ball, who showed the ability to be an elite rebounder and defender for a guard in his rookie year. “I know some people are rolling their eyes, but I like what the Lakers have done,” a rival Western Conference executive said. “You can find shooters. They’ve taken some in the last few drafts. Playmakers matter and are harder to find.”
LaVar Ball is already clearing off space on Lonzo’s trophy case — telling TMZ Sports he expects FOUR CHAMPIONSHIPS now that LeBron James is on the Lakers! “I called LeBron to L.A.,” LaVar told us at a BBB pop-up shop at Sole Play in Atlanta … “I knew he was coming to L.A., man! Everything lined up for me!” But, what about the Golden State Warriors signing DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins — is LaVar concerned about the reigning NBA champs??
According to Romeo Travis, LeBron James didn’t envision the Cavaliers being capable of making the offseason moves necessary to dethrone the Warriors and win his second title in Cleveland. James will not hold an introductory Lakers press conference and reportedly won’t speak publicly until late July at his Akron charity function.
“Now they don’t have cap space,” Travis said. “Nobody wants the guys they have. It’s been tough for them to get better from a roster standpoint. And it might be tough for him to have another amazing year like that, put them on his back again. His teammates are professionals, and you hope they play better next year, but it’s hard to gamble your career on that.”
Ohm Youngmisuk: On taking Lakers torch from Magic and passing it to LeBron, Kobe to @Stephen A. Smith: ‘Now it is somebody else’s time… certainly it is our responsibility to pay it forward. whatever i can do to help Bron [win a championship in LA] I am all for it… we are all brothers.’
Ohm Youngmisuk: Kobe to @Stephen A. Smith on LeBron having the type of skin and character to handle playing in LA: ‘They’ve thrown everything at this kid since [high school].” Says he told LeBron he’s here for him and his family and whatever they need in LA
Ohm Youngmisuk: Kobe to @Stephen A. Smith on Magic: ‘They might have to get this dude another statue [for all he has done]. What Magic is pulling off is absolutely incredible. The legacy he has for this franchise and what he’s doing [now], it’s ridiculous.’
Ohm Youngmisuk: Kobe to @Stephen A. Smith on Rob Pelinka and what’s next: ‘I have known Rob forever. He has [prepared Plan A-Z.] He will read the lay of the land and see what opportunities present themselves. There will be nothing that surprises him… I know how brilliant he is.’
Ohm Youngmisuk: Kobe to @Stephen A. Smith on LeBron with Lakers core: ‘They have a lot of offensive versatility. The true test comes on the defensive end. That is where LeBron is really, really great at, talking and his energy… that is where I look for changes and if they do that, who knows’
Harrison Faigen: Based on Kobe Bryant’s comments on the radio this morning, it sounds like his call with LeBron James on Saturday was less “recruiting” and more “welcome to L.A.” Here’s what he said their call consisted of: “Just hey, welcome to the family bro. Just making sure we get together when he gets out here, making sure his kids were good and that whole bit.”
In the two weeks following the Finals, James held three meetings at home with his closest advisors, in which they attempted to peg free-agent destinations where he might be able to satisfy his family and eventually vault his nemesis. Their talks focused on the Rockets, 76ers, Lakers and Cavaliers. James instructed his agent, Rich Paul, to research those organizations and present him with feedback when he returned from a vacation in Anguilla.
On Sunday morning, James ate breakfast with his wife on the patio at A Votre Sante in Brentwood. Gavin Newsom, the Democratic candidate for governor of California, stopped at their table and asked where he was headed. James kept quiet. Maria Shriver, the former First Lady of California, also swung by and delivered her case for the Lakers. There is little doubt the club’s cache played as much a part in James’s thinking as Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. James grew up a Cowboys and a Yankees fan, but he has never suited up for an iconic institution. Even though the Rockets and Sixers are loaded in comparison to the Lakers, they did not capture the imagination in the same way.
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.
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss deserves the assist for getting this done, as she’s the one who made the bold move in Feb. 2017 of firing her own brother, Jim Buss, and longtime general manager, Mitch Kupchak, after years of failed free agency pitches. Magic Johnson came in as an adviser and then president of basketball operations, and Rob Pelinka, the longtime agent of Kobe Bryant, became general manager. The overhaul was complete, with Buss pushing for more synergy between the front office and ownership with the hopes that it would lead to this kind of prize. But according to a person with knowledge of James’ thinking, it was Johnson who closed this monumental deal. The Lakers legend met with James in one of his Los Angeles homes for approximately three hours on Saturday night, when the NBA’s free agency period tipped off.
Dan Gilbert: Virtually anyone with roots in Northeast Ohio paused and felt the memories of the past and the utter joy that the burden of the so-called ‘curse’ was finally a thing of the past. Cleveland, Ohio was the home of a championship team for the first time since 1964. Words do not express the meaning and the feeling this accomplishment brought to the people of Northeast Ohio. None of this would have happened if LeBron James did not agree to come back home and lead the Cavaliers to the promised land. The entire Cavaliers franchise thanks LeBron for that precious moment and for all of the excitement he delivered as he led our team to four straight NBA Finals appearances.
Dan Gilbert: LeBron is a family man, first. We wish his kids, his wife Savannah, his mother Gloria, and LeBron himself nothing but the best in the years and decades ahead. LeBron’s connection to Akron, Cleveland and all of Northeast Ohio will most certainly endure as his commitment to the region and his support of many important causes has been impactful to so many kids and families. LeBron, you came home and delivered the ultimate goal. Nothing but appreciation and gratitude for everything you put into every moment you spent in a Cavaliers uniform. We look forward to the retirement of the famous #23 Cavs jersey one day down the line…”
Darren Rovell: $136.6 million: What Dan Gilbert has paid LeBron for his 11 seasons in Cleveland. $154 million: What LeBron will make in his next four seasons with the Lakers.
Here is the breakdown for the LeBron James contract with the Los Angeles Lakers: $35.65M, $37.43M, $39.21M and $41M. He is not eligible for a no trade clause.
Here are three reasons why LeBron James joined the Lakers, according to two people with knowledge of the negotiations. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because of the high-profile nature of the deal. 1. James and his family (wife Savannah, sons LeBron Jr. and Bryce and daughter Zhuri) are excited to live in Los Angeles fulltime. He has two homes there and has spent previous offseasons there. 2. James believes the Lakers are in position – with some of the players they have now – to build a team that can contend for a championship soon. Also, James was not adamant that another All-Star, such as Kawhi Leonard or Paul George, had to join the Lakers for him to sign with the Lakers. He understands they can build and create a contender with him there.
Ramona Shelburne: Some more context to the Magic-LeBron meeting Saturday night. LBJ was already strongly considering the Lakers but wanted to look Magic in the eye and see if they could find a trust before making a decision, per sources close to the situation.
Free-agent swingman Lance Stephenson has agreed to join up with LeBron James to pursue a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell ESPN. Stephenson will sign a one-year, $4.5 million deal, the sources said.
Brad Turner: Sources said James liked the team Magic Johnson has in place and believes in how the Lakers can be in the playoffs this year and build the Lakers into a champion team.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Now LA has a God and a King! Zlatan welcomes @LeBron James
Marcin Gortat: Interesting year in LA :))))👍🏻👊🏻
Brad Turner: According to several sources, Magic Johnson met LeBron James at James’ home at 9:01 Saturday night and the two talked for about three hours. Conversation was about building the Lakers into a championship team and about being successful businessmen.
If Bosh were to return, re-joining James on a veteran’s minimum contract with the Lakers makes abundant sense. Bosh knows well the challenges of playing with James — he’s spoken openly about them — but also, if he can get back to his old form, he would be an ideal fit next to his championship frontcourt partner.
Sam Amick: The meeting that sealed this deal included LeBron, his @KlutchSports agent, Rich Paul, & Magic Johnson at one of LeBron’s LA homes last night for several hours, as @Ramona Shelburne noted. No one else but those three, and now he’s about to don the purple and gold.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: I am sure the Lakernation is rejoicing The acquisition of LeBron James means that the Lakers are just a smidgen away from being real contenders. Congrats to @Magic Johnson & @LALakersLive et al. Cross your fingers for news from San Antonio.
Ramona Shelburne: This was a very hush-hush operation. Lakers knew they needed to give Bron space to decide and announce it as he wanted. None of us reporters could even confirm they’d been in touch whereas calls with Cavs & Sixers leaked. Says something on the discipline for all involved
The cheapest Lakers season tickets on StubHub before James’ announcement were $3,499 each. Twenty minutes after the announcement, those same seats were also the cheapest — $5,800 each. After the deal was announced, one person paid $188,781 on StubHub, including fees, for four season tickets. The seats, which are 16 rows up and one section off center, are only for regular-season games and don’t include the playoffs.
In Cleveland, ticket broker Mark Klang, of Amazing Tickets, said he anticipated that the tickets he held for next season would lose 60 percent of their value, the same thing that happened when LeBron left Cleveland the first time to go to Miami.
Ramona Shelburne: How did the Lakers close this? Magic Johnson went to one of LeBron’s houses in LA late Saturday night and met with him for several hours.
Ramona Shelburne: The Lakers had felt a sense of urgency this week to find a co-star LeBron — either PG or Kawhi. However when Magic spoke to James late Saturday, he assured them this was a long term play and his decision wouldn’t be affected by a transaction they could make under a time pressure
Sean Deveney: One name to keep an eye on to join LeBron James with the @Los Angeles Lakers , a source noted: Former @Miami Heat teammate Chris Bosh, who is seeking a return to the league after leaving the game as he was dealing with blood clots.
Kobe Bryant: Welcome to the family @LeBron James #lakers4life #striveforgreatness @Jeanie Buss @Magic Johnson and RP well done!!!
Will Guillory: Twelve of the 15 players that made an All-NBA team last year will be in the Western conference next year. That’s insane
DeMarre Carroll: I guess everybody can sign now….. since LBJ committed to the Lakers…Crazy how 1 man hold up Free Agency…😂💯💯💯
Brian Windhorst: The fourth season of LeBron’s four-year deal is a player option. It is still the longest deal he’s signed since 2010.
Terrence Ross: lol who’s mad i said Cavs of the West? Lemme hear it 🙉
Troy Daniels: Wow 🤦🏽♂️
Jeremy Lin: Whoaaaa….Lebron gone?!? Out the East too lol
Shams Charania: LeBron James’ new 4-year, $154M agreement with the Los Angeles Lakers includes an opt out in the fourth year, league sources tell Yahoo.
Bobby Marks: Cleveland with the James departure now have $110M in salary and are over the cap. The Cavaliers have use of the $8.6M room midlevel and $3.4M biannual exception but using both would push the Cavaliers into the tax. Cleveland still has bird rights on… espn.com/espn/now?nowId…
Tommy Beer: LeBron’s IG post:
Josh Lewenberg: LeBron to the Lakers, and his streak of winning the East ends at 9 straight seasons. The Conference is more wide-open than it’s been in a decade.
Adrian Wojnarowski: LeBron James has agreed to 4-year, $154M deal with Lakers, Klutch Sports says.
Shams Charania: LeBron James has agreed to a four-year, $154M deal with the Lakers.
Yes, the Lakers are still favorites—but not total locks—to sign LeBron James, league sources say. For what it’s worth, some executives believe LeBron’s indecision is all theater, and he has already decided on the Lakers as his new team.
Signing Boogie Cousins could be a sweetener for LeBron. In January 2017, James called Boogie, “the best big man in our game.” LeBron’s praise of Cousins came before the New Orleans big man had suffered a major injury, but sources say he remains interested by the idea of playing with Boogie.
Alex Kennedy: If you’re betting on LeBron James to the Lakers, you’d have to bet $5,000 just to make $100. (In other words, they think LeBron to L.A. is a done deal.)
Ramona Shelburne: ESPN producer @Jlshobar shot this of LeBron’s plane landing in LA this morning. Why is he here? Said one source, “He lives here in the summer.”
LeBron James has touched down at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles, hours ahead of 2018 NBA free agency. While James owns property in LA, the timing of the visit coupled with the absence of a meeting scheduled with Cleveland suggests that his presence in the area could certainly be related to his next free-agent move.
Arash Markazi: LeBron James at Van Nuys Airport via @harmer805.
I will continue to say that James owes the Cavaliers nothing, and has nothing to fear about damaging his legacy, if he decides to leave Cleveland again, after delivering in 2016 the championship he promised. I also reject the notion that James will pick the Lakers only if Leonard or George, or both, will join him.
Remember: The most definitive thing we know so far about James’s free-agency leanings is his disclosure after the finals that family considerations will play a bigger role than they have before. If his family decides Los Angeles is where it wants to be full time, it’s not difficult to envision James making the leap with great belief that his presence will help Magic flank him with the requisite help eventually, if not immediately.
Two years ago, in the weeks and months after the city’s championship parade, the Cavs privately began mentioning the possibility James could leave for Los Angeles in the summer of 2018. Now it could be days from happening.
Harrison Faigen: “I believe that the Lakers have the inside track on getting LeBron”- Windhorst on SportsCenter
Bobby Marks: Not surprised by the LeBron decision. The impact is that a sign and trade (see Houston) would likely be off the table because of the hard cap and the pool of teams now shrink to a possible 3…..Cleveland, LA Lakers and Philadelphia.
“Clearly, LeBron is keeping a very close eye on the Lakers. This is my read on the situation: if he opts into his contract, that it pretty much closes the door on him going to the Lakers. It doesn’t necessarily guarantee that he is staying with the Cavs, but I think it’s a really good sign that he will. “If he opts out of the contract, I don’t necessarily think that it means he is leaving the Cavs, but I do think it bodes better for the Lakers if he does that. “There are other teams involved; obviously Houston, Philadelphia etc. But I really think this is a Cleveland or L.A. decision.
Alex Kennedy: Several veterans have told me they’d settle for a minimum deal with the Lakers if they land LeBron James. All eyes will be on L.A. and very few teams have cap room this summer, so they’d have no trouble adding complementary pieces to fill out the roster: hoopshype.com/2018/06/29/los…
The stakes on these talks are enormous, because a deal for Leonard would likely clinch a free agent commitment out of LeBron James. James has until late Friday night to opt-out of the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and is watching closely how the Lakers proceed with the Leonard talks.
Sean Deveny: LeBron James could sign with Lakers before roster overhaul, sources tell SN
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Fred Katz: Justin Anderson has finalized a non-guaranteed contract with the Wizards, sources tell The Athletic.
The Texas Legends arrived in Frisco in 2009 after Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson purchased and relocated the then-Colorado 14ers. Ever since then, open tryouts have been a staple as a form of talent acquisition. “It’s a chance for the players here in the local community to develop an appreciation for the level of talent and the hard work that goes into it,” Texas Legends president and general manager Malcolm Farmer said. “We want to give those local players a chance to show what they can do so (we) don’t overlook anybody here, especially locally.”
There’s no limit on participants, but there is a registration fee — $175 ahead of time or $200 for those who show up the day of. This year, there were 155 participants; the youngest was 18 years old, while the oldest was 38. History dictated that at least one was likely to wind up with more than just a story to tell: Thirteen players in franchise history punched their ticket to a roster spot through open tryouts, from Pierce Caldwell in 2010 all the way to Justin Tubbs and Josh Newkirk last year. Realistically, the Legends don’t go into this session expecting to uncover the next Dirk Nowitzki. Instead, they’re looking for somebody who has what many Texas front office personnel dubbed as “transferable skills” and can at least be a role player in the G League.
Some are taking Team USA’s disastrous showing in the FIBA World Cup lightly. Jerry Colangelo is not one of those people. “I believe that if we didn’t have those injuries, we would have won.”
“FIBA made a mistake moving the World Cup into odd years,” David Stern, the former N.B.A. commissioner, recently told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “And as a result, you are asking players to play in the FIBA world championship, play in the season and then play in the Olympics. And I think that pushed a lot of players to feel that they should make a choice between back-to-back years of international competition.”
Utah’s Rudy Gobert and I had a brief chance to chat about this issue — again — after he and his teammates clinched the bronze medal for France in a victory over Australia in FIBA’s third-place game on Sunday. “I wish all the best players would come, but it’s never going to happen,” Gobert said of the modern N.B.A. player’s approach in the Load Management Era. “They think about themselves more than anything — and it’s understandable. It’s a business. We all have families to take care of.”
Dunleavy is now an assistant general manager toward the top of a Warriors front office that lost Jerry West and Travis Schlenk, two forceful voices, the last three years. West is now an executive board member with the Clippers and Schlenk is the GM of the Atlanta Hawks. Dunleavy moves to the Bay Area in a few weeks, a ghost of Warriors’ past stepping into an increased role reshaping the franchise’s future.