The Los Angeles Lakers were the odds-on favorites to land LeBron James in free agency before the NBA Finals were over, but that doesn't mean it was an easy decision for James. While most felt that the pitiful postseason performance of the Cavaliers' supporting cast ruined any chances of LeBron returning to Cleveland, there were other intriguing options out there for the King.
James spoke to the media on Monday at the opening of his new I Promise School in Akron, Ohio and, while he mostly gave the details of his latest philanthropic endeavor, he also talked a little basketball. James revealed which teams he considered before ultimately signing with the Lakers. Via Harrison Faigen of SBNation:
"I did my due diligence after the season on the pros and cons on a lot of different teams, including the Cavs and including Philadelphia, including Houston and Los Angeles," James said. "So it wasn't as quick as it may seem. It just wasn't July 9 like it was before. So after talking to my family more than anybody, I felt like this was the next step in my journey."
We knew the 76ers and Rockets, along with the Cavs and Lakers, were making a strong push for James' services, but it's interesting to hear that he actually considered all four teams, and possibly some others.
James also said that he was intrigued by the thought of playing with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in Philadelphia or James Harden and Chris Paul in Houston, which made him think "long and hard" about his decision.
LeBron said on ESPN "I definitely thought long and hard about the possibilities about lining up alongside Ben (Simmons) and (Joel) Embiid. Or a lineup alongside Harden and Chris." but that he wanted the "challenge" of helping the Lakers get back on top.— TV's Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) July 30, 2018
LeBron enumerated the reasons why he chose to join the Lakers, but as the season plays out we'll continue to wonder what the league might have looked like if he had decided to go to the 76ers or Rockets instead.