LeBron James is officially joining the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers finished last season 11th in the West. The Sacramento Kings finished 12th. And yet because of geography and legacies the Lakers were a serious option for LeBron and the Kings were never in the conversation. Make no mistake, the Kings shouldn’t have been an option. It just sucks that the Lakers even were.
LeBron could have worked his way to the Houston Rockets. He could have teamed up with Chris Paul and James Harden and toppled the Golden State Warriors for supremacy in the West. Or he could have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers to team up with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons and be coached by Brett Brown and have his run of the East for another few years. Or if LeBron just really wanted to live in L.A. he could have joined the Los Angeles Clippers. He wouldn’t have been accused of jumping to a super team, but he’d have an incredible supporting cast with Tobias Harris, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Marcin Gortat, and Montrezl Harrell.
But he chose the Lakers.
The Kings will very likely be the worst team in the Pacific Division this year. They’ll fight through a brutal Western Conference that they are ill-equipped to handle even if every player progresses from last season. And the Kings don’t own their 2019 first round pick.
Beyond this season? The Kings might surpass the Clippers in the next few seasons, but there’s no guarantee. Four times per year the Kings will face the Warriors. Four times per year the Kings will face LeBron.