LeBron wants to be a Laker? Lazenby reports…
HoopsHype: The greatest NBA free agent of all time, LeBron James, is quietly making overtures to the Los Angeles Lakers.
He wants to play for them. And James is not all that concerned whether Kobe Bryant is part of the equation. Bryant, of course, has yet to sign a contract extension with L.A. and could wind up a free-agent himself, albeit one with high mileage.
But the overtures have been made. LeBron wants to wear the purple and gold. Mainly, he wants to wear a championship ring, which means he wants to play for Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
“LeBron wants to win. He’s a smart guy,” explainsone of my best inside sources, a close Jackson associate. “And Phil loves LeBron, absolutely LOVES him.”
There are many, many complicating factors to such a scenario, not the least of which is the fact that it’s way far from certain that Jackson will even be the coach of the Lakers next year.
“The Lakers have not made Phil an offer,” the Jackson source points out. However, rest assured of this, Jackson’s close associate maintained. “Phil will coach somewhere next year.”
Jackson wouldn’t dare take off next year if he’s not coaching the Lakers because he believes the following year will bring a lock-out, the source says. Jackson craves the chance to win another title before the NBA owners lock out the players in 2011-2012 to force a new contract.
“The whole league is under review,” the source points out. “Franchise values are falling, so the owners feel they must force a new labor agreement.”