As much as I’d love to write this objectively, I simply can’t. The prophet LaVar Ball planted the LA-Bron seed before the 2017 season. Magic watered it all year long. And now that it’s sprouted, I’m entertained, damnit. Showtime is back. I heard the jokes about the game’s best not wanting to play for the Lakers, saw the memes in which every superstar player in the L was mockingly pictured in a Los Angeles jersey. I listened to many of you losers talk about how nobody wanted to sign with the franchise because five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant said, “The pressure of following Magic [Johnson’s] footsteps, myself and the dynasty that we’ve had, it takes a special person to do that. And if I need to convince you to come here, to carry that legacy forward, then you ain't the one to be in it.” Now, let me take the stage while I sip this ice cold Jameson.
First off, LeBron James -- the world’s best player --- didn’t need much convincing. You want proof, there’s 4 years and $154 million of it and it’s drenched in purple and gold, baby. Secondly, watch more basketball before you give your ill informed opinions on greatness. Our roster is filled with budding stars, and who the hell wouldn’t want to play for arguably the most storied organization in the history of sports?
Now, let me preface this next segment from our sponsors at “You sorry ass haters will never get what you wish for” with this: I’m not going to apologize for taking a shot at “loser” culture. I simply want the bullshit to be acknowledged. People really questioned why someone like “Bron,” who is obsessed with his legacy and public perception, would want to embrace the pressure that comes with following in the footsteps of legends? Is this real? How do you sound? Now, let’s reload because the first round of shots hit the mark in the same manner Lonzo’s outlet passes will hit LeBron’s hands before thunderous dunks. Yes, the imagery has begun and we have yet to see Bron in anything other than some $500 Don C Lakers shorts.
I’m going to keep it 1000 with you chief. I wasn’t losing my shit over the thought of LeBron joining the Lake Show. I was skeptical. I questioned how the ball-dominant James would co-exist with the immensely talented Baby Lakers, a squad which featured Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Barkley aka Josh Hart. I complained about how he’d stunt their growth. Since Magic pulled the rabbit out of his hat, smoothly executing negotiations like one of his signature fastbreaks and bringing excitement back to La La Land in the form of LeBron Raymone James, I’ve chosen to disregard all that. Why? This is a malleable group of young players destined to grow into superstars under the tutelage of “King James.” With that being said, Los Angeles grabbed LeBron and quickly started building a cast fit to dethrone the Monstars.
Starting off the rebirth of Showtime in style, the Lakers signed Lance ‘Born Ready’ Stephenson (my favorite basketball player personally). With the New York City playground legend, Los Angeles has the sauce, a player with enough swagger and confidence to go toe-to-toe against anybody. Shit, just ask Bron. Not only is he a conductor, who orchestrates offenses with flash and flair, he’s going to dance, shake and hound opponents into oblivion like it’s an evening at The Dykman. We also added JaVale McGee -- a freak athlete who has the athleticism to live around the rim and send ill-advised shots into the third row, Rajon Rondo -- whose toughness, defensive capabilities and otherworldly knack for putting his compadres in the best possible position to score makes life easier for a LeBron James who's stressed playing off the ball more as he gets older and Mike Beasley-- a childhood hoops mate of Kevin Durant and somebody who LeBron supposedly couldn't beat one-on-one during their days on South Beach. Yes, my friends, this is a squad of bullies and ballers.
With the free agent additions, excellent pickups in the draft and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Lakers made it clear they want to kick your ass up and down the Staples Center while bringing back the toughness that defined the 90s and the flash that made hoops a world-renowned sport in the 80s. Listen, James was already comfortable with the makeup of the roster. And why wouldn’t he be? The Lakers didn’t have to chase stars in order to become a contender. The path to success was already being paved. “I love the young guys that they have, and I’m not trying to force my hand in no way, shape or form,” he told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. If Magic chose to blow up the young core, chase early success and ignore what was already on the free-agent market due to the Warriors mucking up the game and grabbing Boogie Cousins, it would have been a grave mistake. The process has been prosperous.
Now, I won’t hold you good brothas and sistas, let’s just be clear. Magic said he was bringing Showtime back and he’s delivered thus far. We the Lakers, are an organization who lights up your news feed and regularly hoists Larry O’Brien trophies whether you like it or not. I’d like to say you missed us, but since you talked so much about us when we were supposedly “irrelevant,” you probably didn’t. But listen, Stay Tuned. =)