LeBron James is recognized as the best in the league, and in top tier conversation for possibly the greatest basketball player of all time.  But does that really grant him the right to basically be the GM of whatever team he is on?  I don’t think so.

For my fellow Star Wars nerds, I see LeBron as Darth Sidious.  See “LeBron James” is his “Senator Palpatine”.  He is seen as a greatly respected public figure who is strong yet diplomatic.  For LeBron it is on the court as it would be for Palpatine in the Senate.  Whereas behind the scenes in the locker room and front office, I see him as “The King” or Darth Sidious in Palpatine’s case.  LeBron masks his true power and capability behind the public eye, but truly has more control than most realize.  There are a few opposing “Jedi’s” such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kemba (sky) Walker that refuse to join LeBron’s “dark side”.  But ultimately LeBron will use his pull to bring in or get rid of whoever he wants.  When LeBron signed with the Lakers, he was soon followed by his friends that got signed whether they deserved it or not.  Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, Tyson Chandler and Michael Beasley all signed with LA this season and cost other Lakers their jobs just because LeBron wanted them there.  I think we can all agree that especially the last two names I mentioned have NO business being on that roster.  We saw that in Cleveland and in Miami to a lesser extent.

Now, LeBron is about to be back at it again.  If you follow basketball in the slightest, you know that Anthony Davis has requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans.  In the past, AD has been quoted saying that he would love to play for the Lakers.  In December of 2018 (this season), LeBron was quoted saying “That would be amazing, like, duh.  That would be incredible.” when asked about the possibility of Davis Joining the Lakers.  LeBron has already cast out players like Julius Randle and others that were Lakers from the jump to make room for his pals.  Now LeBron could possibly be influencing Magic Johnson to ditch the rest of the team that they built through the draft for the brow.  This package would most likely include some if not all of players such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.

The Lakers are currently (26-24) at 9th in the West.  They have struggled through the 16 games LeBron has missed so far.  They definitely could use some help, but I don’t know if it’s worth losing their core of youth and potential.  LeBron is the only player to ever have had this much control over roster moves.  Dan Gilbert (Cavs owner) has spoken out about this before too.  All 3 front offices that have had LeBron try to down play how much of a hand he has in team management.  Look at Cleveland now.  Kyrie left because of LeBron, and now that James is gone, the Cavaliers are the worst team in the league.  Jordan, Kobe, nobody has ever made this many calls for any organization like LeBron has.  LeBron is obviously at an elite status and has a mind for basketball, but he is a PLAYER.  I for sure see him running a team in the future, but no matter how talented you are, a player shouldn’t call the shots.

James is an enigma and one of a kind personality.  His “emperor” reign will most likely continue as long as he’s in the league no matter where he goes.  We’ll see if this method gets him more championships eventually, because as of now, the dude should probably have more rings than he does.  So does his control help or hurt his team more?  You tell me.  The fate of the (basketball) galaxy seems to be in LeBron’s hands.  Is AD his Anakin? We’ll see…

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Written by benfiore

NBA writer of Beyond the Arc. Employee, podcast host and writer for Thoughts From the Bench.

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