It has become well-known that Magic Johnson played a pivotal role in helping the LA Lakers sign LeBron James. The relationship between Johnson and James remained in the forefront until the former Lakers great decided to step away from his front office position. However, James may have brought up something quite intriguing about his standing with Johnson.
LeBron James’ relationship with Magic Johnson
Throughout the years, Magic Johnson has remained extremely connected with the Lakers’ management.
There were some bumps in the road with Jim Buss, but the closeness with the franchise hasn’t fractured. That was quite evident with Johnson getting the president of basketball operations position, which helped him utilize his friendship with LeBron James to get him to LA. There has long been a healthy mutual respect between the two, which their relationship grew after James joined the Lakers in July 2018.
They have spoken highly of each other over the years as that bond has strengthened. Although there was an odd sense around Johnson’s sudden departure from his Lakers’ front office position, it didn’t damage his friendship with James. That hasn’t been the case at all, but the four-time league MVP just made some telling comments about his relationship with Johnson.
LeBron James says he’s closer to Isiah Thomas
LeBron James has made it known that he’s a basketball junky with a substantial amount of admiration for the game and many of the game’s great players.
That has led him to garner strong bonds with several of the NBA’s all-time best players. During a recent interview with Cari Champion and Jemele Hill on Vice’s ‘Stick to Sports’ show, James voiced that he has a closer personal relationship with former Detroit Pistons great Isiah Thomas.
“I have more of a personal relationship with Isiah, which people might be like ‘Really?!’ Even though I had the opportunity to be with Lakers in my first year last year, when Magic, you know before his departure.”
That is something that does raise some eyebrows given his connection to the Lakers, but James has garnered many friendships through the game of basketball. He has praised the Hall of Famer on many occasions that include him boasting about Thomas via social media back in April, calling him an “absolutely monster” for what he did in the NBA Finals on an injured ankle.
That isn’t a shot at Johnson by any means, but it just shows he has garnered a strong personal bond with Thomas. The ironic thing is that the two Hall of Fame point guards patched up their relationship about two years ago. For much of their careers, they were the closest of friends.
Lakers’ playoff push
Beyond his personal standing with these two Hall of Famers, LeBron James has helped guide the Lakers into a promising spot.
Following a disappointing Game 1 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers have responded with back-to-back wins to grab control of the series. James is coming off a monster performance where he nearly posted a triple-double with 38 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. Anthony Davis has also been a game-changing factor as the Trail Blazers haven’t had an answer for him defensively.
The first-round series is far from over as Portland has some dangerous offensive firepower, but LA should move their way toward a deep playoff run. Many have pegged them as being an NBA title contender in what should be an entertaining journey through the playoffs.
Nonetheless, James has the Lakers in a spot of possibly earning their 17th NBA title. Only time will tell if LA has enough to make that push toward hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy.