If the Los Angeles Lakers have taught us anything in these last few days, persistence works. After failing to get a meeting with LeBron James’ reps following the start of free agency, it is reported by several sources that Mitch Kupchak is headed to Cleveland to speak with James’ manager Rich Paul.
@ramonashelburne reports that Mitch Kupchak flying to CLE to meet with LeBron’s agent Rich Paul
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 4, 2014
Kupchak and Harris flew to Cleveland on a private jet immediately after meeting with Carmelo in Los Angeles this afternoon.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 4, 2014
The Lakers have been chasing LeBron since he first became an unrestricted free agent in 2010, so it’s no surprise they’re back at it again in 2014. A lot has changed since then though.
Kobe Bryant is dealing with back-to-back leg injuries while reeling closer to the twilight of his career.
Pau Gasol may be on his way out the door.
Phil Jackson is currently the team president in New York.
And Andrew Bynum… well, yeah, he’s a complete non-factor.
There’s no championship lure to draw the best player in the world anymore and that position hurts the Lakers in regards to chasing James.
But for the Lakers, they’re just hoping for a chance to sell LeBron on the opportunity to do what Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant had done before him: be the face of the biggest franchise in NBA history. That’s the Lakers selling point now and depending on James’ biggest interest, he could buy into that.
It’s unlikely, but with free agency playing out the way it has so far, it’s hard to get a grasp on anything regarding LeBron.