Months after LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, reports emerged that the three-time NBA champion had some interest in the Denver Nuggets.
Some light has now been shed on this seemingly unimaginable union, with details now coming out pertaining to the fact that it was LeBron’s relationship with Nuggets head coach Michael Malone that led to the former Cleveland Cavaliers star to even consider Denver as a potential destination:
A huge factor in why there was some mutual interest between LeBron James and the Nuggets last summer was becasue of James’ long-standing relationship with Michael Malone. Malone coached LeBron for five seasons in Cleveland. James also still thinks highly of Malone.
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) February 18, 2019
As explained by Nuggets insider Harrison Wind, James and Malone formed a good working relationship during their time together with the Cavs between 2005 and 2010. This was during LeBron’s first stint with the Cavs prior to his decision to move his talents to South Beach in the summer of 2010. As for Malone, he too parted ways with the Cavs that same offseason, as he decided to take an assistant coach job offer in New Orleans.
Fast-forward eight years later and, apparently, a reunion between these two was briefly considered by both parties. Malone has done great things in Denver ever since taking up the head coaching reigns back in 2015, and as it turns out, the bond they had built while in Cleveland actually made James think twice about playing for the Mile High City. LeBron also has a relationship with Nuggets owner Josh Kroenke.
Now just a little more than halfway through his first season in LA, it seems that LeBron was always destined to don the purple and gold at one point in his career. Despite how impressive things are going up in Denver, it’s just too hard to imagine LeBron in a Nuggets uniform.