- Magic Johnson met with LeBron James the minute free agency began to pitch him on the Los Angeles Lakers.
- According to Johnson, as they began talking about basketball, James broke down every player on the Lakers, listing their strengths and weaknesses.
- Johnson said James liked the Lakers’ vision and believed he could fit with their young team.
When Magic Johnson met with LeBron James the minute free agency began to sell him on the Los Angeles Lakers, he wasn’t the only one who had come prepared.
Johnson said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday that when he met with James on July 1, James already had a working knowledge of the entire Lakers roster. Johnson said James went through each player, breaking down their strengths and weaknesses.
“He broke down every player on our team – their strengths, their weaknesses. He already knew the guys on our teams,” Johnson said. “I was very impressed by that.”
Johnson said the meeting began with the two men discussing their backgrounds and respective careers before they got into the nitty-gritty of basketball. James, according to Johnson, knew all about the Lakers and was intrigued by the young core of players, including Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma. Johnson also confirmed that he made James aware of all the moves the Lakers would be making in free agency, some of which baffled the NBA world.
“Before we knew it, two hours had passed already,” Johnson said. “But it was a lot of Laker expectations, offence, defence, how he likes to play. … He’s going to really take our players to this level and make them so much better.”
Johnson also joked about his previous tampering fines making him too scared to get to James’ house before free agency officially began at 9:01 p.m. PT. He said he got to James’ neighbourhood at 8, waited in the car for an hour, pulled up to the house at 9, then waited until 9:01 to ring the buzzer.
Watch the interview below:
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