LeBron James on Lakers’ free agency plan: “I’m confident that players want to play with me”

LeBron James
Oct 10, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles against the defense of Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) during the first half at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ failures this season have had people looking towards the summer for some time now. When the team traded D’Angelo Russell two summers ago, their hope was to sign two stars with the created cap space. LeBron James was the first but to this point, the Lakers have been unable to sign a sidekick for their superstar.

When Paul George snubbed the Lakers on the first night of free agency, it became clear that they would have to wait a year to get their second star. But after missing the playoffs (and not really coming close), the pressure is higher than ever to deliver on their promise.

James, however, does not seem too worried. Rumors about and comments from Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving have indicated that some of the top stars in the league may not want to team up with LeBron in the twilight of his career. But LeBron, speaking to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, thinks that’s just talk:

“So it’s very critical to me and my future,” James says of acquiring another star, as he stops midway down the Garden ramp. “And I’m positive and very optimistic that Magic and Rob and the franchise will be great.”

James has heard the speculative chatter—that other stars don’t want to join him. That they’d have to sacrifice too much to play with him. That the Lakers have lost their magical charm.

“They got me,” James retorts, laughing. “I’m very confident. And I’m confident that players want to play with me. I’m very confident in that.”

LeBron is a very confident player but he also seems to have more awareness than most of his counterparts. He knows he needs help to have any success in LA and has mentioned that he will be recruiting to ensure he gets that help.

But whether the Lakers can deliver in an offseason when several teams have cap space and enviable pitches to offer is another question entirely.

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