Jerry Buss Sought Meeting With LeBron James After Lakers Won 2010 NBA Finals
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After years of futility, optimism in abound for the Los Angeles Lakers, thanks to a promising young core and the signing of LeBron James. He’s the caliber of superstar that the franchise often boasted under late owner Jerry Buss.

While the Lakers have a rich history of Hall-of-Famers who have worn their jersey, Buss is responsible for creating a vision and culture that spawned the decades of success. Since his passing, the Lakers have struggled to replicate that.

They began to with the hiring of Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka, and made more progress with their signing of James. And it’s James who Buss first envisioned joining the Lakers eight years ago.

At the time, they were fresh off defeating the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals. It was the second of back-to-back championships, and still stands as the Lakers’ last title.

Despite not having necessary salary cap space, Buss pondered reaching out to James in free agency, per Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:

Buss thought about calling James anyway. Over lunch with his sons, he mentioned the idea, offhandedly.

“It’d be good to know that guy,” his son Joey recalled him saying.

League rules allowed teams to meet with any free agent. Why not meet with James to introduce him to the Lakers’ vision? Why not sow the seeds of a future partnership?

“LeBron was always somebody that he was interested in,” Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss said.

Bus and the Lakers never met with James that summer. Former general manager Mitch Kupchak led a contingent during the summer of 2014, when they were granted a meeting, not with James but his agent Rich Paul.

It may have been more going through the motions than substance, as James signed with the Miami Heat. Considering the Lakers were coming off an abysmal season, they were never viewed as serious suitors.

The sentiment was much different heading into 2018 free agency, as many began to consider the Lakers a favorite to sign the 14-time All-Star. Sure enough, James committed to the storied franchise, after a meeting with Johnson, who has assumed the recruiting role Dr. Jerry Buss so majestically filled.

Medium Large is looking to add motivated individuals with big dreams and a big appetite for success to our LakersNation.com direct sales team based in Los Angeles or Orange County. If you love sports, know digital sales, and can throw your weight behind an aggressive commission based opportunity than we would love to talk to you. Please apply at: http://mediumlarge.la/?jobs=1576. If you meet our criteria we will be in touch!

You May Also Like

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak Says Team Could End Up Trading Draft Pick

With the 2015-16 NBA season officially over the for the Los Angeles Lakers, the team’s next order of business is hoping the ping-pong balls bounce the right way during the NBA Draft Lottery on May 23…

Lakers Win Second Straight, Beat Sixers in Philly

After finally snapping a four game skid with a win over the…

D’Angelo Russell On His Career-High Night: ‘Y’All Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’

The Los Angeles Lakers failed to get a victory Thursday night in Kobe Bryant’s last game in Sacramento…

Lakers’ Metta World Peace Says Russell Westbrook Is Best Player In NBA, Anthony Davis Is Second

The discussion of who is the best player in the NBA is always ongoing, although the last few years LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers has earned the respect from his peers to be considered the best player in the world…