Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press
Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson thanked LeBron James and his team Wednesday as the two sides prepare for the start of a multiyear partnership.
“After Monday’s signing I am so excited for our franchise and LeBron joining our team,” Johnson tweeted following James’ decision to sign a four-year, $153 million deal with the Lakers. “Thank you to Rich Paul for managing this process with such class.
“I look forward to working with both Rich Paul and Maverick Carter, two consummate professionals, over these next four years. The future is bright for both LeBron and his team.”
Johnson, of course, met with James shortly after the start of free agency July 1 in what proved to be a productive discussion between two all-time greats. But according to Johnson, the conversation didn’t center on James’ ability to grow his legend in L.A.
“He didn’t need to hear that. He already knew the team, maybe better than I did. He broke the roster down right in front of me,” Johnson told Spectrum SportsNet (via ESPN.com) on Tuesday. “… He knew every single guy, the strength and weaknesses on our team.”
The two also connected over their career arcs.
“We had a great time of going back and forth, here we are two guys, similar,” Johnson added. “Both from the Midwest. Both grew up poor. Both love to compete. Both love to win, and I think both excel at the highest level. We connected right when I walked in the door. Just two guys that talk free to each other, and talk basketball, and that’s what I love about LeBron.”