The question in NBA free agency this summer was where LeBron James would decide to sign. Most believed James would either remain with the Cleveland Cavaliers or join the Los Angeles Lakers, but teams such as the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers were in the mix as well.
James quickly agreed to terms with Lakers, leaving the Cavaliers to rebuild around their other All-Star, Kevin Love. Love had developed a strong relationship over the years with James, and apparently he wasn’t too surprised with the decision James made.
Love recently sat down for an interview on SportsCenter to explain why he wasn’t necessarily surprised by James’ move and how he interrupted the thought process behind it:
“I had somewhat of an idea. I had, like everybody, weighed the options and kind of had an idea of where he might go. I knew it was probably between Cleveland and Los Angeles. I think he’s always looking for a different challenge. He’s always wondering what’s next. It feels like sometimes he’s playing chess and everybody else is playing checkers.”
Love added that with the way James’ mind works, he thinks James was looking for another challenge in his career:
“He’s very, very mentally strong and knows the game of basketball so well. Sometimes there’s something he sees that other people don’t. So I think making it to four straight Finals, him helping the most in us winning a championship in 2016, I think he might’ve been looking for something different, and a change and next chapter for him. So here we are.”
Los Angeles undoubtedly provides a different set of challenges for LeBron. Instead of being surrounded by All-Stars, James will be reliant on a number of young players who are unproven on the biggest stage.
Additionally, James is now in the absolutely stacked Western Conference, giving him a much harder road to the Finals, but James and his new team will be looking forward to the challenge.