As the Los Angeles Lakers look to finish out the regular season on a positive note, the focus and spotlight on free agency will begin to grow larger. The team is expected to pursue the likes of Paul George and LeBron James, having put themselves in position to sign two max-contract free agents.
The Lakers of course will not be alone in their quest to sign George or James, and where either of the All-Stars ultimately winds up is anyone’s guess. While the Lakers front office must wait to make their pitch, season-ticket holder and longtime fan Jacob Emrani began a recruitment of sorts.
With James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in town this weekend, Emrani paid for four billboards in the Los Angeles area. The ‘#LABron’ message references the Lakers’ rich history and paints a picture of James becoming the next player to have his jersey retired by the franchise.
Like he did when a Philadelphia 76ers fan had a billboard erected in Cleveland for the same recruiting purpose, James spoke fondly of the gesture, via Shahan Ahmed of NBC L.A.
LeBron James said he saw the billboards online: “I think it’s pretty cool. Listen, my kids see things like that. They think it’s cool. I think it’s cool. It’s flattering more than anything.
— Shahan Ahmed (@shahanLA) March 9, 2018
Reports of James’ intentions as a free agent have ranged from him definitely leaving the Cavaliers for a second time, to being intrigued by the Lakers, then worrisome over their youth.
Some of the latest speculation has the Lakers among four teams James reportedly will consider signing with this summer. The list is also said to include the 76ers, Cavaliers and Houston Rockets.
While James freely spoke about the billboards that were put up for him, Laker head coach Luke Walton joked this week he would not discuss the topic because of the team’s track record of being fined for tampering.
James and the Cavaliers first face the Clippers at Staples Center on Friday night, then go up against the Lakers on Sunday.