It is official, LeBron James is a Laker. This comes as no surprise as that was the destination nearly everyone was predicting in the weeks leading up to July 1. But … there were a handful of individuals who saw this coming far back in time.
Let’s rewind and see who should be patting themselves on the back today:
Ty Duffy — June 21, 2016
All the way back on June 21, 2016, Ty Duffy wrote for The Big Lead the case for LeBron James to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
“It’s The Lakers,” Duffy said and added “Basketball, of course, is only one concern. LeBron earns less than a third of his income playing basketball. Five to ten years from now that will be zero percent. He’s a business mogul. His business future is in LA. Cleveland is stagnation. He can grow his brand in Los Angeles. He has already put down roots there.”
Bill Simmons/Jalen Rose/Kevin O’Connor — June 6-7, 2017.
“Jalen Rose, my buddy, was on First Take today talking about it. He was on First Take with a crowd of Cleveland fans surrounding him, and turned around and said to them ‘I don’t think LeBron is going to finish his career in Cleveland, I think he is going to finish his career for a California team’. And then he was like ‘that is not the Clippers, the Kings, or the Warriors.'”
O’Connor told Simmons, two guys he trusted believed LeBron would to go to Los Angeles – probably the Lakers – in 2018 to play with young talent.
Well, well, well.
Adrian Wojnarowski — June 14, 2017.
The NBA’s top insider, to no surprise, was the one who really got this story buzzing on June 14, 2017, via The Vertical Podcast with Woj:
“Not only is there no guarantee he’s coming back, I’m not sure there’s an expectation he’s re-signing there. I think they feel, I think within Cleveland and around the league, they feel that he’s very much in play to leave again and likely head out West to one of the two L.A. teams. The Lakers could very well be a target.”
One year before, on June 17, 2016, Adrian Wojnarowski stated that if LeBron could secure a Finals victory to bring a title to Cleveland – he did – he would “get to run off with his buddies again somewhere warm. Miami. Los Angeles. Wherever.”
(H/T Pro Basketball Talk)
Jason McIntyre — June 15, 2017
The Big Lead’s founder Jason McIntyre presented the idea on June 15, 2017, that LeBron James had “a legit chance to make a 3rd enormous free agent move: Going to the Lakers in 2018.”
Then elaborated on The Herd a few days later:
Perhaps, nobody should be sticking out their chest today as much as Peter Vecsey. He was the one who left no wiggle room, and 100% called LeBron James to the Lakers on September 16, 2017.
Vecsey (transcribed by Bleacher Report):
“Accordingly, I’m publicly terminating the pandemic of speculation surrounding LeBron James’ playing plans past this season,” Vecsey wrote. “For months, many in the media declared or composed presumption the Lakers would be the beneficiaries of his talents when he became a free agent July 1, 2018. I’m eradicating all conjecture and uncertainty! I’m comfortable now in stating unequivocally, LeBron will leave the Cavaliers a second time and join the Lakers, and return the team to L.A. Lore status.”
Honorable Mention: On August 16, 2017, Chris Sheridan tweeted, “NBA source said today: “This will be LeBron’s final season in Cleveland. He is 100 percent leaving. Relationship with owners beyond repair.”
*If anyone wants to claim victory, send proof …