Welcome To La-La(Bron) Land! NBA Star LeBron James Joins Los Angeles Lakers
If Los Angeles is also known as La-La Land, thanks to how pundits refer to the lifestyle and attitude of those who inhabit the city, and Hollywood in particular, and how they play on Los Angeles (abbreviating to L.A.)—well, don’t be surprised if before the year is out, these same pundits will be rechristening the city as La-La(Bron) Land.
Ever since the news leaked out earlier today that THE LeBron James had signed a four-year, $153 million deal with the Lakers, all the sports writers and all of social media have been abuzz with the news—especially here in the basketball-crazy Philippines, where it totally eclipsed the news of powerhouse nations like Spain, Argentina and Portugal crashing out of the World Cup. Suddenly, even if off-season, the NBA was back in the spotlight!
LeBron on Instagram Stories earlier today
And let’s face it, in the days before today’s fair-weather, bandwagon Warriors fans (I’m talking 2004 to 2014), if you weren’t rooting for Boston or Miami, and were looking for a West Coast team to ride behind, you most likely went with the purple and yellow colors of the Lakers, and Kobe Bryant was the man. So, I loved how so many Filipino Warriors "faithful" were suddenly pledging allegiance again to the Lakers. They were even getting excited over how, following the LeBron announcement, both Lance Stephenson and Javale McGee were reported to be donning Lakers jerseys. And personally, I was thinking "So what?"—that’s not how you're going to topple Durant, Curry, et al. Now, if you had succeeded getting Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to join LeBron, then the Lakers last Championship Trophy of 2010 could be finding new company.
So why all the excitement and adrenaline rush? LeBron is possibly the greatest active player right now, so for the Lakers faithful who have been chomping at the bit for eight long years, this is Hallelujah-time. It’s likely Jack Nicholson will sprout some new hair, or have a new spring in his walk. Expect the Staples Center on Lakers game days to be party-time, with all the celebrities on Instagram with selfies, showing off where they’re seated. After helping Cleveland, a relatively medium-sized market, gain some prominence, LeBron is roosting it right on Rodeo Drive and the original Home of Hype and Flash—playing the Big Game in the biggest City of Dreams!
LeBron can and does carry a franchise; so in a city where Jerry West, Wilt the Stilt, Magic and Kareem, Kobe and Shaq, have all come and played, having LeBron possibly end his playing years as a Laker is adding to Laker Legend lore. If an actual championship can be reaped, that would give this whole brouhaha the only thing missing now, a Hollywood ending. But like I said above, carrying or making a franchise doesn’t necessarily mean the championship as well. LeBron, painfully, is only too aware of this—his last two years in Cleveland showing that you’re only as good as your co-stars and supporting cast. In his favor is that potentially, Luke Walton may be one of the better coaches he’ll have on his side (imagine if LeBron had gone Boston-way and worked with Brad Stevens!).
So here we have LeBron possibly putting a cap to his incredible First Act—as a pro player. He’s made no secret of how his Act Two revolves around being a global entertainment icon, working with childhood friend Maverick Carter on the SpringHill Entertainment business they both started working on in 2008. Needless to say, this move to Hollywood will have some bearing on how SpringHill will evolve, and strategically, it could be the wisest move LeBron could have made for his post-basketball career. That’s why in my mind, there really were no other contenders for LeBron’s services.
So let’s sit back and revel in how, without even that first dribble, pass, or dunk, we have a new King of Hollywood. Social media was an exciting repository of reactions, and I loved the funnier ones:
Congratulations to the Boston Celtics next years eastern conference champions.— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) July 2, 2018
Lol bron just joined the Cavs of the West ??????— Terrence Ross (@TFlight31) July 2, 2018
The Lakers are FOREVER gonna be Kobe’s and Magic’s team.... Process that— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 30, 2018
It’s fun and game daze/days again in Los Angeles!
Photos from @kingjames