There is a stigma surrounding LeBron James led teams that he is who makes coaching and player personnel decisions, not the respective head coach and front office.
However, since James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, it seems as if that hasn’t been the case. While James did suggest Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee, it was Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka who made the call at the end of the day.
Now, with Carmelo Anthony, a close friend of James’, available to trade for from the Houston Rockets, it’s been made clear by James that he would love to play with Anthony, as he’s said on multiple occasions. To this point, the Lakers front office has shown no interest in taking on the 16-year veteran, and James seems to know this.
James both reiterated his desire to play with Anthony and the fact that it’s not his decision nor did he implore the Lakers front office to act on his wish, in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols:
“I don’t know. I mean, listen, it’s just my opinion. But it’s not like I lit a fire in anybody’s ass. It’s just my opinion. People ask me questions, “Hey, how do you feel …” and you know, I think it would it be great to have Carmelo Anthony be on the Lakers. I believe Melo can still play the game. I believe I can help Melo. I know Melo better than Melo knows himself at times, and vice versa. So if the opportunity presents itself I would welcome it. That’s what it all boils down to.”
There’s no doubt that James is a very influential player. If he wants a player on his team, there is a bit of pressure on the front office to make it happen.
However, Johnson and Pelinka are a management group unlike any other James has worked with before. With each decision made, it seems clear that there is a constant dialogue going on between them and James, leading to a final decision made by the duo.
So no matter what happens with Anthony, Johnson and Pelinka have proven that they should be trusted by James.
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