This offseason was another example of Kobe Bryant being a huge deterrent for free agents who consider signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James is on the other end of that scale, although this meme makes fun of one aspect that doesn’t make a lot sense.
Why? Because LeBron James isn’t the first or last player who wants to have good players around him. He doesn’t mind having superstars next to him. He left the Cavaliers in 2010 to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. That trio took the Heat to four NBA finals and won two titles.
Kobe Bryant has played on loaded teams. Magic Johnson as well. Michael Jordan too. There’s no shame in playing next to All-Stars, superstars and hall of famers. The only thing James did wrong was how he announced he was leaving in 2010, and that’s something no one will ever forgive him for. As if it’s so wrong to put yourself in the best situation to succeed.
Players want to play with James, for all the criticism he receives. Bryant? His salary prevents the Lakers from doing major moves, and even without that restriction, no star free agent wants to play next to a ball hog who is too dominant in the locker room and practice, and simply can’t let go of his alpha dog status. James cares about his status as well, but he isn’t franchise-crippling from within like Bryant is.
The good news for Lakers fan is that there’s a new generation coming up and Bryant should be gone by the end of the season. James? For now, he’s probably going to be part of title runs and contentions, which means he’s in the right place and doing the right thing.