Having served as the architect of the last Lakers dynasty, if anyone would know the power and pull of the Laker brand and Los Angeles it’s Jerry West. One year ago, West was hired by the Los Angeles Clippers as an executive to reshape the direction of the franchise.
The purple and gold are now direct rivals to the Laker great. In a sit down with Sports Illustrated, the logo detailed why he doesn’t give a ton of credit to the Lakers nabbing the best player in the world.
“All due respect to the Lakers, who handled everything well, but as these things go, LeBron was not a tough free-agent signing,” West told SI. “LeBron wanted to come to L.A. and he wanted to come to the Lakers. Period.
“He has a family he’s thinking about. He has a home here. He has a son whom he wants to keep in one school in Los Angeles. He will be a celebrity out here, sure, but it’s a place where, once in a while, he can get lost, be himself. You can’t do that everywhere.”
Hands down one of the greatest front office executives the game has seen, West is telling it as it is. LeBron joined the Lakers for his post playing career as much as for on the court play.
The previous two times LeBron James switched teams revolved more so around basketball and positioning for championships. The Lakers will undoubtedly attract marquee names to play alongside The King however they are not contenders given the current state of the Lakers roster. This obviously can change quickly with a large portion of the off-season remaining and a blue chip star in Kawhi Leonard available. Given the business and film ventures LeBron can execute in Los Angeles in his post playing days, the move to LA made the most sense for himself and family as noted by West.