Since the news broke that LeBron James will reportedly sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, I decided to get the reactions of everyone in The Sports Fan Journal family. We have a chat in Slack where all sorts of ideas, jokes, and Ron Hamp photos get us throughout the day. So, the morning after The King shifted the NBA landscape again, our chat became active. Among us, we have LeBron fans, Ohio natives, Lakers fans, Sixers fans and a slew of cynicism. Here are the opinions of Jason Clinkscales, Beverly Gooden, Carden Hedelt, Esau Howard, Ron Hampston, Matt Whitener, Dave Giovanazzi, Joe Boland (Rev. Paul Revere), Josh Naso, Mya Melody and myself. Think of us assembling like the Legion of Doom, except over the internet and with way more swagger.
Johnathan Tillman: So, one day later, how are we feeling about LeBron to LA?
Esau Howard: League is better when certain teams are competitive. Cool to me. Need a reason to say F the Lakers again. If the Knicks could get going, I can hate in joy.
Jason Clinkscales: Like most LeBron fans, are you conflicted, Till?
JT: I don't know if I'm conflicted. I think I realize I don't hate the Lakers like I thought I did.
Rev. Paul Revere: Good for LeBron - wants to be near his family. However, he has now conceded any chance at a title this year, potentially for the next couple years, and he's my age. Side note: Bryan Colangelo can go [very explicit insulting action].
JT: I'm all for players controlling their destiny. Yeah, they're millionaires, but the alternative is supporting billionaires. To that, I say, F that.
Dave Giovanazzi: I’m all for it just to see how Laker fans (particularly Kobe fans) embrace him. And who can argue with putting his family life first?
JC: And finally, he goes to a team I don't mind watching. I'm sorry, but the Cavs were boring as s*** when he wasn't on the floor. I mean, you shouldn't be bad and boring. At least be interesting.
EH: Could just not support the millionaires or billionaires and just be happy for the game
Matt Whitener: Yeah, while the curtain on the business and the game has gotten pulled back further than it has with Pro Wrestling in the era, for most people the product is all that should matter.
JT: The big thing for me is that it's obvious, at least for players around our age, that there is playing in the NBA--then there is playing for the Lakers.
CH: Very happy for LeBron not having to live in Cleveland anymore, hate Laker fans being happy, VERY EXCITE for the characters on this team.
JT: Ya know, I think LeBron will like Lance, if he stays on the team. I also think LeBron would choke slam him.
Ron Hamp: I’m here for it. I just signed a 4 year deal with [the Lakers] as well.
JC: I always thought they could be good teammates, tbh
CH: Laker Javale 😍
JT: Everyone LeBron had a little spat with would have been a good teammate.
Rev: Better question: How do you all feel about Kawhi potentially sitting out the entire season if he's not traded to the Lakers? For me… that's garbage
JT: LAKER JAVALE
Ron Hamp: Lance to LeBron oops >>>>>>>
Mya Melody: As a Kobe fan, I’ve never rocked with LeBron like that; so it’s weird now. But LeBron has a lot more competition now during playoff time since he’s joining the West. If anything, I’m sure Toronto is super hype about this news!
Rev: Toronto is the third-best team in the East at best.
JT: I love that I don't know what Kawhi sounds like and he's pulling a massive power move. He's like a young Tio Salamanca from Breaking Bad
Dave: Was the greatest Canada Day in Raptors history.
JT: Spoiler: the middle of the West is not *that* great.
JC: It's a spoiler to Basketball Twitter. It hasn't been great for a few years. The Pacific Division was AFC East bad for a while.
JT: WHERE IS [PHILLIP] BARNETT
CH: Nothing personal Mya, but it's next level funny hearing Lakers fans being mad.
JC: Mya, I actually understand. Personally, as a Knicks fan, everyone can KMA.
Dave: Feels like a whole lot of [West] teams battling for 5-10 ish range.
Mya: Lol I know some Lakers fans who are excited, though. They just want the rings and to be a top team again. But I’m down the street from Staples Center right now. Let me make sure LA hasn’t plastered LeBron banners outside the arena just yet.
JC: BUT... Celtics fans are going to be so obnoxious for a team that may still find themselves coming up short.
[At this point, several people are typing in the chat]
Rev: Josh is not typing.
CH: Very excited for myyyy friend Earvin "Magic" Johnson
JT: Did Magic know? Is that why he said what he said?
Rev: Yes, Windhorst said he had this decision made for a while.
Bev Gooden: I have nothing to say.
Mya: Lakers ticket prices and the rent just went up smh
JT: Bev, this is why you should say more.
Josh: Josh is salty AF.
Bev: "I have nothing to say" was the more. Rejection hurts. Being rejected twice really hurts. I'm also jealous that nobody offered me $150 million to relocate from Cleveland, to be honest.
CH: Also, sorry Bev for takin out Cleveland like that.
JT: All fair.
JC: Seriously, #TeamLeBron amuses me. Should we have greater appreciation for the player-only fan now since there seems to be no shame about it?
I am curious about something, though. We are assuming that the Lakers are suddenly the 3rd seed, at best...(Unless Houston really blows it or GSW's injuries all happen at once)
What does a team like Utah do?
JT: "We have the real Rookie of the Year!" -- a fan base with a .500 team.
JC: The Jazz have to be somewhat raging with the belief that they were maybe a player or two away from the 3rd seed. Because as you just said, Till, the middle of the West isn't that great. Now, this guy shows up and f***s it all up.
CH: Is Salt Lake City actually lit? I heard that somewhere and was like ?????
JT: I cannot picture a lit Mormon.
CH: I'm on it.
Matt: Is anybody possibly happier about this than the Raptors?
CH: Dan Gilbert. Rihanna. Who's unhappy besides Josh? I don't think the Warriors care just yet.
Phillip Barnett: OFFICIAL STATEMENT
JC: Lakers Bro is Knicks Bro with better weather and *cries* FOURTEEN MORE TITLES. Look at those guys. They probably said, "O'DOLYE RULEZ!" unironically before
Rev: I'm only unhappy Bron didn't decide he wanted to go to nine straight finals and sign with Philly; but I don't really care that much. It makes the Sixers' path to the Finals easier that he's outta the East.
PB: Till, I think if [the Lakers] can bring back Randle on a team-friendly deal, this is a nearly perfect summer for them. [Editor's note: We know that didn't happen.] Will still have the option to trade/stretch Deng next summer to open up room for another max spot while maintaining the youth. I'm happy Bron didn't go to Philly -- not because he's on the Lakers, but because I really, really enjoy what Philly has. Philly/Boston is going to be incredible for the next few years.
Rev: Totally agree. Not bummed because this team still has Joel, Ben, Dario, Fultz (I think he's actually gonna be really good!), Zhaire, Shamet, Bolden, JJ. I hope they don't trade 3 freakin' 1sts for Kawhi though. I would trade 2 firsts & Covington/Dario but not Dario & Fultz.
PB: Just because I don't know what Fultz is going to be yet, I feel like keeping Dario might work better for them in the long run. One of those guys who can pretty much become whatever you need in any given situation. But him playing under Pop for a couple of years could be incredible, too.
Rev: Love Dario, don't want him to go. But if he's really the main piece in a deal for Kawhi, might be worth it. Then again, Kawhi threatening to sit out the entire season if he's not traded to L.A. makes me say screw it, keep everyone and battle with Boston when LeBron & Warriors are older/weaker.
So there was a peek into what our TSFJ e-mail office is like, and this was before Monday night where hell didn't stop breaking loose. We'll try to have more of these as major sports news happens. Peace.
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