Is Magic Johnson getting more credit than he deserves for LeBron’s move to the Lakers?

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Would LeBron have chosen the Lakers regardless of Magic Johnson being there?

- | do want to talk a little bit about LeBron and Magic Johnson. I do feel like Magic Johnson is being celebrated for landing LeBron James. Would you use the L word? Did Magic Johnson land LeBron James? Does he deserve a ton of credit? Will this add to his legacy?

- He didn't land him-- he closed him. And I said this yesterday, I think that LeBron James' mind was pretty much made up. He had the press release written. He had the private jet gassed. He was ready to hop on the flight to Europe with his wife for a couples only trip the next morning. And he was going to plan to have it released by Klutch Sports, Rich Paul his agent, after this meeting with Magic the night prior.

But I don't think that Magic convinced him of anything. I think that he wanted to look the man in the eyes, he wanted to talk about the Laker brand, where the Laker brand is heading, what impact LeBron potentially could have. I think he also appreciates the mentorship, the camaraderie here. And to see if this guy isn't just looking out for the business he's running now-- which is obviously the basketball operations with the Lakers-- but LeBron James' personal interests.

His personal interests are intertwined with the health of the Lakers, sure, but also he has a brand that he's built. And Magic-- he's no stranger to these sort of conversations. He's done the same thing off the court. This is a business mogul. So I think he wanted to be on the level with Magic, LeBron did. And he wanted to sit in a room with him and say, am I going to have influence here with decision making? Am I going to be able to benefit, prosper, off the court in the ways that I see fit? Because that's part of the intrigue and interest in coming to LA in the first place.

And I think Magic said all the right things. And they did it over a three hour period. And by the next morning, LeBron was comfortable enough with that conversation to send out the press release and skip town for a little bit.

- You know, I don't think Magic Johnson deserves much credit for landing LeBron James. I think that this has been something he's been heading towards a couple of years. And I do agree with you. I still say LeBron James is the most legacy conscious player that I have ever seen, and he does it in a really brilliant way. But where Magic Johnson will add to his legacy surrounding LeBron James is what he does with the roster in itself. And as of now, it was an A-plus move to land the greatest player in the world--

- Don't you think he could have screwed it up, though?

- Well--

- That's kind of my point.

- I'm still watching.

- Well, I get it. I'm just saying, he's signed a four year contract. He has a player option in the fourth year-- so a three year contract with an option.

- So screwed up how?

- I'm saying Magic, in that three hour meeting they had, the reason why I say he has some credit in this is because he could have screwed it up.

- You mean like if he'd gotten too drunk and threw up in his lap? I mean how bad?

- I mean, put that in the realm of possibility, I assume.

- He's Magic freaking Johnson. All you have to do is just be Magic.

Yes. And some of that is accurate, but--

- Don't be Irving.

- But what happens if he walks into the room, and part of the reason why he became the president of basketball operations is because he wants complete executive control. And he explains some of that to LeBron, and that struck an odd chord with him. LeBron takes some time, he goes on this trip to Europe, makes the decision-- not ready yet. Signs a one and one with Cleveland, and they're punting until next free agency.

- Well, he deserves credit for not getting in the way of LeBron coming to Los Angeles. But that's not landing. That's not--

- I didn't say landing. He closed him. He closed him. He closed him.

- I don't-- I don't even see it as a close.

- Oh, come one.

- That's not a close. LeBron wanted to come to the Lakers. He's the greatest player in the world. How in the world can Magic screw that up?

- The reason why he was hired is for that conversation over dinner for three hours that evening. That is the reason why Magic Johnson was hired. It's like a closer, bottom of the ninth, game seven of the World Series. If you don't deliver then, it's honestly, what are you good for? Why did we bring you on to begin with?

- Any decently respected president, any decently respected general manager with the Los Angeles Lakers would have landed LeBron James.

- You would hope.

- LeBron had the play to turn around the greatest brand in NBA history, and that's the Los Angeles Lakers. And we talked about it.

- You could have hired any other GM.

- LeBron loves the Dallas Cowboys. LeBron loves the New York Yankees. LeBron loves big brand sports teams.

- Of course.

- He's never played for one. The Miami Heat is not one-- he may have made it a little bit of one. And the Cleveland Cavaliers definitely aren't one. He wanted to play for the biggest brand in basketball before his career was over, and that's the Los Angeles Lakers.