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LeBron’s arrival transforms Lakers back into glamour showLeBron’s arrival transforms Lakers back into glamour show

first_imgTaal victims get help from Kalayaan town Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Given the Golden State Warriors’ addition of DeMarcus Cousins to what was already a ludicrously loaded roster, a championship seems logically out of reach for anybody else in the NBA. James already was aware of the upstate challenge he’ll face after losing three of the last four NBA Finals to the Warriors in Cleveland.And with innumerable variables still to be settled before the regular season, it’s impossible to predict what James will be able to accomplish with a revamped Lakers roster.But at least the worst half-decade in franchise history should become a bad memory for Lakers fans, who seethed through five irrelevant seasons highlighted mostly by Bryant’s retirement tour. The Lakers’ 35 victories last year were their best performance during five years without a postseason game for a team that had never missed the playoffs more than two seasons in a row.After James announced his decision to join the Lakers on a four-year, $153.3 million deal Sunday, the Lakers’ jersey sales skyrocketed and prices spiked on the secondary ticket market. Fans gathered among the statues in Star Plaza outside Staples Center, tossing chalk into the air in a simulation of James’ famed gesture.Los Angeles also made a flurry of complementary moves as Johnson attempted to assemble an immediate playoff contender on the wreckage of five playoff-free years.ADVERTISEMENT Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew FILE – In this Jan. 15, 2015, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James hug before the start of an NBA basketball game, in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Lakers have a new superstar — L.A.-Bron. The four-time NBA MVP announced Sunday night, July 1, 2018, that he has agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers. “Welcome to the family (at)KingJames,” Bryant said on Twitter . “(hash)lakers4life (hash)striveforgreatness.” (Paul Rodriguez/The Orange County Register via AP, FIle)LOS ANGELES — From George Mikan to Kobe Bryant, superstars have been the Lakers’ lifeblood for decades.LeBron James is already the biggest star of his generation, and he followed a familiar path to Los Angeles’ bright lights when he decided to sign with the Lakers as a free agent.ADVERTISEMENT Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trialcenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 MOST READ Romeo blasts players who called Gilas ’embarassing’: Why don’t you convert to Australian In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ It’s no coincidence that this glamorous, 16-time champion franchise has consistently attracted already great players with outsized ambition. The 33-year-old James has taken on the challenge that Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal all accepted near the primes of their careers.Becoming a basketball superstar is one thing, and nobody is bigger than James after 15 prolific NBA seasons and three championships. Succeeding with the Lakers is something different, according to many of the men who have worn this gold jersey.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownJust ask Bryant, who won two Olympic gold medals as James’ teammate while spending his entire 20-year career with the Lakers.“The NBA does better when the Lakers are at their highest potential,” Bryant, who retired in 2016, told Fox Sports Radio on Monday. “And for the city of LA, it’s important for us to have that star power. Jerry (West) was here. Elgin Baylor was here. Wilt was here. Magic was here. Cap (Abdul-Jabbar) was here. Shaq, myself, and now let’s carry it forward again. You’ve got LeBron here now. It’s his turn now. Hopefully he can — which he will — take this franchise back to prominence.” Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson are joining along with James. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is staying, along with — for now — the young core of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart.Julius Randle, Isaiah Thomas and several others are out. The Lakers will build around James, and they’ll continue to attempt to land Kawhi Leonard or another superstar to team up with him over the next year.With Randle’s departure, the Lakers will have no players left on their roster who played with Bryant in his final game in 2016. The Lakers are steaming toward a new future, with little tying them to the lamentable recent past.But with the signing of a free-agent superstar, the Lakers already have followed through on the most important part of the plan set forth 16 months ago by Magic Johnson when he took over the club’s basketball operations. Although he spent his entire career with LA, Magic knows the magnitude of the Lakers’ lure.Chamberlain made this move in 1968, with the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player requesting a trade from Philadelphia to join Baylor and West.Abdul-Jabbar did it in 1975 after requesting a trade from Milwaukee to a cosmopolitan city, and he went on to become the NBA’s career scoring leader during 14 seasons with the Lakers.O’Neal went west as a free agent in 1996, embracing the advantages of living in Hollywood while moonlighting as an actor and rapper.James is arguably bigger than them all, a multi-media star with a legitimate entertainment production company already churning out content for the likes of NBC, the History Channel and Starz.When James suits up for the season opener, six of the top eight scorers in NBA history will be Lakers.“This is a special place,” Johnson said recently. “We know what’s special about this franchise. The people we choose to come here are going to know that, too.” View comments LATEST STORIESlast_img read more