LeBron James officially signed his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, and Magic Johnson welcomed one of the game’s all-time greats with some well-earned hyperbole.
Via the Lakers official press release:
“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.”
No one praises quite as effusively as Earvin Johnson. In this case, though, the over-the-top compliments are absolutely warranted. James is already one of the absolute few players who belong in the greatest ever to have played basketball conversation and his arrival signals a seismic shift in narrative surrounding the organization.
I wrote about what this might mean for Johnson, himself, and what Magic’s involvement in all this means to Lakers fans everywhere. You can really see the enjoyment he gets out of helping make this possible and the respect he has for James, who sees the game and plays like a modern Magic himself.
James still isn’t slated to speak publicly about his decision to sign with the Lakers any time soon and doesn’t appear scheduled to appear publicly all that often outside of a potential meet-and-greet at Blaze Pizza in Culver City, continuing the quiet theme behind his move to L.A.
The moves since have left an iffy taste in my mouth, but that doesn’t necessarily have to take away from how cool a moment this is for the city and for the Lakers.