Two weeks ago, after LeBron James announced he was signing with the Lakers, we speculated about how he made his decision. Now we have a simple explanation for why he chose L.A. LeBron's agent, Rich Paul, recently conveyed to Sports Illustrated how LBJ has made all three of the big free agency decisions during his career.
"In 2010, when he went to Miami, it was about championships," Paul told the great Lee Jenkins. "In 2014, when he went back to Cleveland, it was about delivering on a promise. In 2018, it was just about doing what he wants to do."
It sounds simple, but that's what we've heard all along—that going to L.A. just aligned with what LeBron wanted personally. As Paul tells it, LeBron wasn't driven to create a super-team, immediately win championships, or build a business empire in Hollywood.
"James was leaning toward L.A. for days, and according to those outside his direct orbit, for months," Jenkins writes. "But Paul rejects the commonly held explanations that James was driven either to expand his Hollywood empire or spark an overnight superteam."
It's worth noting this doesn't mean LeBron wasn't "doing what he wants to do" when he signed with the Heat and re-joined the Cavaliers. In fact, Jenkins corrected Bleacher Report when it published such a conclusion.
You’re paraphrasing that quote in a way that is extremely misleading. Again.— Lee Jenkins (@SI_LeeJenkins) July 11, 2018
At this point in his career, LeBron has checked a ton of boxes. Many still contend he'll never be the G.O.A.T., but he probably doesn't think he needs to prove anything to anyone. So in the end, he just went with his gut—the team, city, franchise, and front office that felt right.