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For the first time since he became the most desirable player in the NBA, 'The King' is on a team that is not a candidate for the title
As expected, last August, LeBron James shocked the NBA with his decision to go to the Los Angeles Lakers. For us and for any basketball knowledge, it was obvious that the arrival of James to the most winning franchise in history was business in aspects such as leadership, sports results, and marketing. But, having no other great star accompanying him, we ask ourselves why did LeBron accept this challenge already in the final stage of his career?
Today, with just over half of the 18-19 calendar elapsed, it is easy to express that the Lakers are not candidates, not even the title of the Western Conference, so the only clear objective is to play the postseason for the first time in seven years. We take it to the other possibility, to be eliminated would be the only way to consider a failure this first year of James, at least in sports.
At the time of writing this article, the 'Laguneros' had a record of 3-7 without Lebron on court (injured since December 25) and a 23-21 in general that does not guarantee them to even keep the eighth place (last box that give ticket to the postseason) for another week unless the victories come urgently. Very good teams like Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New Orleans Pelicans have the material to reach and surpass you.
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Why did you choose the Lakers?
In his first official public appearance with the Lakers, James explained why he changed his beloved Cleveland for Los Angeles. The key word is admiration, and the explanation, a dream since childhood. LeBron explained that it was impossible to resist playing in a franchise with so much history, and above all being a partner of Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, his childhood idol and who imitated in school breaks. He did not guarantee titles, but yes, he was very happy integrating a group that seeks to rescue the winning history of the Lakers so the ultimate goal was to be champions in the short or medium term.
In our opinion, James was a diplomat praising the history of the franchise and its most emblematic player with Kobe Bryant, but it is not clear to us how much is true in his words. A professional should never say when he arrives at a team that does not expect to win, so deep down he knows it will be very difficult. In that sense he did well. The money is discarded as a compelling reason, because that's enough to spare him that he declined other less expensive offers to go to California.
The dream of playing in the Lakers, combines very well with the fact that in this team James would be the undisputed king. Without another counterweight like Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in the Heat or Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in the Cavs, here was no longer Kobe Bryant and he would be the guide of a fairly young and talented group, even the technician Luke Walton is quite young, the most that could surround James was with veterans as Rajon Rondo (injured much of the campaign), Javal McGee and Lance Stephenson, the first two with champion rings under his belt. Another reason is the support he received from Julius Irving, one of the best players in the history of the NBA, who described him as 'brave' to go to the competitive West, full of figures, leaving the East, where he had no rivals , aside.
What can Lakers aspire to?
Not only does he not have the likes of Wade, Bosh, Irving or Love, but the rivals of the Western Conference are much more complicated. A sample a button, so far this season, 14 of the 15 teams that make up that area of the championship have the potential to advance to the playoffs, when in the East there are only five dangerous teams, serious candidates, to play the final of the NBA No doubt in sports, a total risk, so it is evident that James is looking for more than a title, which has already won three times (2012, 2013, 2016).
Of course, regardless of what happens with these Lakers edition 18-19, we still believe that they will qualify, if, in the mid-year break, Magic Johnson makes a significant investment and surrounds it with at least two elite players ( says that Kevin Durant could be one), then yes, the title will be the objective in the immediate, although James would no longer be the only leader of the club, and let's not forget, he will be 35 years old. It will dawn, and we will see.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from "Los Ángeles Lakers ¿la aventura más arriesgada en la carrera de LeBron James?"