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Bryant and James 2011

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Pat Dean (CableMuse.com) Cable Muse Network LLC

By Pat Dean

Photo Courtesy of Staples Center for CableMuse.com
Courtesy of STAPLES Center

March 10, 2010 - Los Angeles, CA (Cable Muse Network, LLC) - Fast forward to a year from now in Los Angeles and enter inside the spectacle that is the Staples Center as 19,000 fans drenched in purple and gold are cheering vociferously during the player introductions of their Lakers. Three starters have been introduced and then we hear Lawrence Tanter’s voice introduce the next player, a six foot six guard in his 15th season out of Lower Merion High School, No. 24 Kobeeeeee Bryant!!!! Crowd starts chanting MVP! MVP!! MVP!!! As the noise finally calms over the arena, Tanner then introduces a six foot eight forward and newest Laker in his eighth season out of Saint Vincent-Saint Mary High School No. 6 LeBronnnnnn Jamesssss!!!

As incongruous of a scenario as the pairing of Bryant and James may seem the rumor has been out there for a few months now, with longtime NBA reporter Sam Smith floating it out of Chicago back in November. It picked up steam this week when a source close to Phil Jackson told Hoopshype writer and author of ‘Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon,’ Roland Lazenby that LeBron James had quietly made overtures that he wanted to play for the Lakers whether Kobe Bryant was part of the equation or not.

“LeBron wants to win. He’s a smart guy,” said a close Jackson associate in Lazenby’s report. “And Phil loves LeBron, absolutely loves him.”

King James coming to the Lakers to form the greatest duo in the history of basketball with the Black Mamba is more of a possibility than many fans suspect and should not be dismissed as hearsay. First, James has control of the situation. Would the Cavs dare let LeBron sign with another team this off season without getting any type of value back? Absolutely not! Although the Lakers will not be able to sign LeBron to a contract outright unless he signs for the mid-level exception, which starts at $5.8 million per a season, they 15 time NBA champions have an abundant of talent that they could over to the Cavs in a sign and trade deal. Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum and draft picks can be the asking price that completes a deal that many want to anoint as far-fetched. Correspondingly to my opinion, Los Angeles Daily News columnist, Vincent Bonsignore believes that whimsical dreams like this come true all the time for the Lakers.

“Just look at their history. They acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the greatest player in the game at the time, from Milwaukee for four players in 1975. They lucked into Magic Johnson and James Worthy after acquiring draft picks (which turned out to be No.1s overall) from lowly Utah and Cleveland,” explained Bonsignore in his column. Similarly the Lakers have made some of the greatest transactions in the last 15 years which included acquiring Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996, signing future hall of fame players Gary Payton and Karl Malone to virtually free deals in 2004 and trading for Pau Gasol two seasons ago for a package of bench players. Could the summer of LeBron become the next Laker heist? Is the era of the King and the Black Mamba upon us? Stay tuned this summer.

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