The Los Angeles Lakers have had an interesting offseason, to say the least. It began with signing LeBron James to a four-year max deal, and they followed that up by surrounding him with a number of veterans on one-year deals.
Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, and Jeanie Buss have been widely praised for being able to sell LeBron on their vision and getting him to L.A., most notably the three-man meeting between James, Johnson, and Rich Paul on the opening night of free agency. There’s certainly something to that and the connection of Magic and LeBron in particular was important to his decision, but not everyone is so convinced this was some great effort from Lakers brass.
Rich Paul himself told Sports Illustrated‘s Lee Jenkins that he was hesitant to put too much stock into that meeting as the turning point, noting this summer was the first time it was all about “what LeBron wanted to do.” Laker legend and current Clippers advisor Jerry West tends to agree.