If only Blake Griffin hadn’t stepped on Lamar Odom’s foot. If only Donald Sterling hadn't said the kinds of things Donald Sterling was fond of saying. If only Chris Paul hadn’t fumbled away a playoff game in Oklahoma City. If only Corey Brewer and Josh Smith didn’t stun the Clippers when they were a quarter away from franchise history. If only Griffin didn’t get into a fight with a team employee, if only he and Paul physically held up, if only the Clippers could have found joy in one another, in all the talent they amassed and all the winning they did.
These are the words the Los Angeles Clippers have to ask themselves after LeBron James decided to sign with the Lakers, undoubtedly focusing nearly all of the city’s attention on their Staples Center roommates instead of them.
A member of California’s congressional delegation offered an unusual welcome to LeBron James on social media.
“LOL! Prepare to pay the highest taxes you ever have in your career!!” Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican from the Central Valley who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted Sunday. “You should have held out for more just to afford the Moonbeam weather tax!!!”
The message came in response to the state Democratic Party tweeting its welcome to James after he agreed to a four-year, $154-million contract with the Lakers.
The significance of LeBron James joining the Lakers spans far beyond the world of basketball. The long-term consequences for Los Angeles will become clearer over the four years of his contract.
One immediate effect could take shape at Major League Baseball’s All-Star game in the form of a goatee for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
As James approached free agency last week, Roberts joked that if James signed with the Lakers, Roberts would manage the National League in the Midsummer Classic with the same facial hair he sported during his 10-year playing career. Roberts was reminded of this before Monday’s series opener against Pittsburgh.
One big question still unanswered with LeBron James' move to the Lakers is which school his talented eighth-grade son, Bronny, will attend.
Bronny is considered an outstanding youth basketball player. Last month, former NBA player Gary Payton told an interviewer that Bronny had committed to Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, home to the likely No. 1 high school basketball team for 2018-19.
But a Sierra Canyon official said Monday that the school has had no contact with James or his family. Other private schools with middle schools near Brentwood, where the James family lives, include Brentwood, Windward and Crossroads.
One year after anointing Lonzo Ball as the face of the franchise, they signed Rajon Rondo to a one-year deal worth $9 million. They told the 32-year-old former NBA champion they’ll have an open competition for the job, according to sources familiar with the conversation.
Wayne Gretzky, who was nicknamed “The Great One” for his exploits during his record-shattering hockey career, knows another great one when he sees one. And he expects LeBron James to be better than great for the Lakers.
“He’s pretty special. I don’t know if we’ve seen an athlete so unique as he is. He’s in a different world because he’s so special,” Gretzky said in a phone interview Monday.
It was suggested that the last otherworldly athlete to land in Los Angeles before James was Gretzky, who arrived here in a trade with Edmonton in August 1988 and changed the face of the NHL by popularizing hockey and planting the game’s roots in areas where it had never flourished before. Gretzky, ever modest, was having none of that. “I’m not in his league,” Gretzky said, “but it’s nice of you to say.”
When the first jump ball is tipped in his first official game as a Laker, LeBron James will cement his place in franchise history.
At that precise moment on that October evening, James will become the greatest player to ever wear a Lakers uniform.
Easy, Magic Johnson fans. We’re not saying he’ll be the greatest Laker ever. Not even close. At age 33, and with a contract he could walk away from in three years, he won’t play here long enough for that distinction.
The Lakers renounced their rights to Julius Randle on Monday, clearing $12.5 million worth of salary cap space, according to sources who weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Randle will immediately become an unrestricted free agent.
Moments later, they agreed to a one-year deal worth $9 million to sign Rajon Rondo, a veteran point guard most recently with the Celtics, according to sources who weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
Randle, a 23-year-old Dallas native spent, four seasons with the Lakers after being drafted seventh overall in 2014. Although the Lakers publicly said they wanted to keep Randle, they never engaged in negotiations with the power forward’s representatives or gave them any true indication of their interest in Randle.