Magic Johnson arrived an hour early for his scheduled meeting with LeBron James on June 30th, and waited in his car outside James’ California home until the moment arrived.
The Lakers’ president of basketball operations, telling Spectrum SportsNet how the James signing came about, said his pitch to the superstar that night wasn’t about the legacy of the Lakers.
“He didn’t need to hear that. He already knew the team, maybe better than I did. He broke the roster down right in front of me,” Johnson said. “… He knew every single guy, the strength and weaknesses on our team.”
Magic Johnson said he connected with LeBron James “right when I walked in the door.”
“We had a great time of going back and forth about, ‘Here we are, two guys, similar, both from the Midwest, both grew up poor, both love to compete, both love to win,’ ” Johnson said Tuesday.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 10, 2018
Johnson said his conversation with James, which began at 9:01 p.m. PT, when free agency began, was mostly two guys talking about basketball.
“We had a great time of going back and forth, here we are two guys, similar,” Johnson said. “Both from the Midwest. Both grew up poor. Both love to compete. Both love to win, and I think both excel at the highest level. We connected right when I walked in the door. Just two guys that talk free to each other, and talk basketball, and that’s what I love about LeBron.”
Magic has certainly done a terrific job since taking over the job. Scoring LeBron in free agency is enough to last a lifetime. Persistent aggression is always respected.