Over the course of his career, long before he arrived with the Lakers, one of the more tired complaints and debates about LeBron James has centered around how much influence he exerts over his teams, as if that’s not a thing that every superstar does. Look no further than the Wizards trading for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (in part) because he’s best friends with Bradley Beal.
But to be sure, James is a large decision-making voice in everything the Lakers do, maybe even to a greater degree than most stars. Rob Pelinka has stated on numerous occasions that he consults with James (and co-star Anthony Davis) on every single signing the Lakers make, and it turns out that maybe sometimes, it might be the other way around.
James’ longtime friend Carmelo Anthony has previously revealed that James’ pitch to get him to join the Lakers this summer was simple: “The time is now.” But during a recent appearance on the “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” podcast, Anthony gave a few more details, including how James was the first call he received from the Lakers, and how that makes Anthony view his role with the team.
Transcript via Pro Basketball Talk, emphasis mine:
It was a real call, though. It wasn’t like no bulls***. It was a real call. I wasn’t expecting it from him. I mean, we talked about it years before, about getting with each other. But I heard it, and that’s my brother. I’ve known him since we was 15, 16. I heard it. “Yo, I need you.” Say less. You ain’t gotta say nothing. I already knew what time it is when you hit me direct. The GM ain’t hit me. You the GM, n****. He hit me. He was like, “Yo, champ. The time is now.” And you felt it. I felt it.
Now obviously, Anthony is incorrect here. Rob Pelinka is the Lakers’ GM. LeBron is more like the president of basketball operations.