It’s been two years since star forward LeBron James made the massive decision to join the LA Lakers in free agency. It’s a move that had many rumbling around it coming to fruition several months in advance. Nonetheless, James went through with the choice to take the next chapter of his career with the Lakers. It’s a decision that had some unique influence from Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.
LeBron James’ decision to join the Lakers
In the months leading to LeBron James‘ free agency in 2018, there was much speculation that he would join the Lakers.
The chatter only further increased as the offseason neared despite James guiding the Cleveland Cavaliers to their fourth straight NBA Finals appearance. All that came to fruition on July 2 as he announced his decision to join LA on a four-year deal worth $153.3 million.
The talk around the move was linked to James’ desire to become more involved in avenues outside the game of basketball. The opportunity to play near the entertainment industry was a talking point for the primary reasons why many believed he was going to join the Lakers.
James’ move to LA may have been expected, but there was one aspect to it that had an obvious influence from Michael Jordan.
LeBron James used Michael Jordan as a guideline for his announcement
Since LeBron James’ first free agency experience back in 2010, he has reshaped how he’s gone about his announcements.
James took the spectacle out of the decision after receiving plenty of backlash for how he went about joining the Miami Heat. With that in mind, James used Michael Jordan’s “I’m back” memo as a basis to announce that he joined the Lakers, according to ESPN.
The four-time league MVP took a simplistic approach to the announcement with a straight forward press release through Klutch Sports. It removed all the pizzazz out of the massive move that changed the Lakers’ future. It was clear that James’ focus is on making it as much of a business decision as possible.
There was no wiggle room for any sensationalizing the decision. The clear-cut direction was James moving quickly ahead toward the next chapter in his illustrious career.
Lakers eyeing an NBA title
LeBron James’ first year with the Lakers didn’t go as planned due to injury and inconsistency. It saw him miss the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
However, things have bounced back in his second campaign, with LA securing the top seed in the Western Conference for the first time in a decade. James, along with fellow star forward Anthony Davis, has guided the Lakers toward being a powerhouse in the league.
Following their disappointing loss in Game 1 of the opening-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers won their next four games to clinch a second-round berth. James and Davis were the driving forces pushing the franchise a step closer to an NBA title.
They are now set to take on the Houston Rockets with Game 1 on Friday night. The Rockets won two out of the three games against them this season. LA enters the series as the presumptive favorites behind their star forwards. The Lakers have seen their shooting improve while James and Davis have risen to the occasion in the playoffs.
Ultimately, it presents a unique challenge for LA to continue their quest toward an NBA championship.