The Lakers are one of the most valuable franchises in sports. They also have had some of the greatest players in NBA history, including Magic, Kareem, Jerry West, and of course my guy Kobe. Now you can add the King to that list, Lebron James. When the news broke that Lebron would be joining Laker Nation I didn’t know how to feel initially. As a Kobe Stan and Lebron “hater” for most of my life I would have never seen this move coming. Houston seemed like the best option but Lebron had other plans. But as time moved on, I began to accept that a player that I’ve been rooting against since basically his first season is now on my favorite team. It’s still gonna be weird to see Lebron in purple and gold but here is why I can live with it.
Even though I’m not the biggest Lebron fan I can respect the move from this perspective: He chose the West over the East. The East has been the weaker of the two conferences for about 10 years now, so the challenge that Lebron is taking head on deserves respect even from me. Lebron has a chance to prove the naysayers wrong who have said “if he was out West he wouldn’t even make the playoffs”. Even I know that the King will make the playoffs just because he is Lebron James and he knows nothing else. It will be tough,but I respect the challenge.
Another reason I can live with this move is because I know no matter what Lebron does for my team that it won’t be a threat to my favorite player of all time Kobe “Bean” Bryant. Kobe has 5 rings all with the Lakers. Kobe stayed his entire career in purple and gold. These two reasons alone are enough for me to know that Kobe’s legacy won’t be threatened by the King. And if you need another reason, Kobe himself signed off on it. Honestly, I think Lebron knows this as well so there is no real pressure on him.
Finally, this puts Laker Nation back on the map after some of the worst years in franchise history. So if Lebron wants to help us get back on top I’m all for it. He can teach the young guys how to win and be professionals. I wouldn’t be a true Laker fan if I didn’t want them to get better and succeed even if it’s Lebron. So I’m good with it. So Lebron, or should I say “LABron” welcome to the West and welcome to Laker Nation!
This piece was written by Quintin Johnson.