A little behind the scenes of what went down when the Lakers signed LeBron.
When NBA free agency officially started, Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson was like a kid on Christmas, anxious to see all of the gifts waiting under the tree. Except for Magic, his gift was a 6'8 four-time NBA MVP named LeBron James.
According to a report by Spectrum SportsNet, Magic was so eager to make his pitch to LeBron on the night of June 30 that he arrived to the meeting an hour early, and patiently waited in his car outside of James' California home until the moment arrived. Once the meeting officially began, Magic explained to Spectrum SportsNet that his pitch to 33-year old All-Star wasn't about the legacy of the Lakers.
Instead, when the meeting began at 9:01 p.m. PT, the two legends just talked about what they know best - basketball.
"He didn't need to hear that. He already knew the team, maybe better than I did. He broke the roster down right in front of me," Johnson said. "... He knew every single guy, the strength and weaknesses on our team."
"We had a great time of going back and forth, here we are two guys, similar," Johnson said. "Both from the Midwest. Both grew up poor. Both love to compete. Both love to win, and I think both excel at the highest level. We connected right when I walked in the door. Just two guys that talk free to each other, and talk basketball, and that's what I love about LeBron."
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka then received a text from James' agent, Rich Paul, around 4:30 p.m. the next day.
"The text just said 'Congrats,' and it had balloons," Pelinka said. "It was one of those moments in life you'll never ever forget. Everything went in slow motion."
LeBron then hopped on a call. "He's not looking to celebrate signing," Pelinka said, per Spectrum SportsNet. "He's looking to celebrate championships and he made that real clear."