Magic Johnson stole page out of Dr. Buss’ book recruiting LeBron James
Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson used a page out of the late Dr. Jerry Buss’ book to reel in the biggest fish in a free agent pool with plenty of attractive options.
“Dr. Buss was the ultimate closer and I was trying to steal a page out of his book and bring the greatest player in the world to the Lakers,” said Johnson, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic.
While Johnson didn’t specify how Buss helped him, it was likely the legacy and the success of the franchise, which helped him sell James into joining the Lakers. Buss had a huge part in the Lakers success and the number of banners they proudly display at the Staples Center.
Teams like the Miami Heat could only sell James on a strong ownership and one championship, back in 2010, while the Cavs had zero titles to account for in 2014, but were favored by being close to his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
The Lakers boast a rich and prominent history, not only having seven of the NBA’s best 15 players of all-time, but hanging 16 banners throughout their franchise’s history — a very succulent offer that is hard to resist.
Combined with the advantages of being in a big market and in the middle of a commercial boom with L.A.’s celebrity scene — this offer couldn’t fall short of irresistible for James, who has put his legacy in the back burner, opting to do what is best for his own personal good and his family’s.