More Reasons For Laker Fan To Party

LeBron and AD sign extensions.

Jim Rome
December 03, 2020 - 11:04 am
Anthony Davis and LeBron James

USA Today

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The Los Angeles Lakers have had a very short offseason. Their last season ended on October 11th. Their first preseason game is December 11th. That’s two months. Roughly half what the normal offseason is for a Finals champ.

But Rob Pelinka and company have been busy as hell. They brought Sixth Man of the Year Montrez Harrell, they brought in Sixth Man of the Year runner-up Dennis Schroder. They brought in Marc Gasol and Wesley Matthews. They re-signed KCP. They re-signed Markieff Morris.

And then in the last 24 hours, they made the moves that everyone was expecting.

First, there was the news that LeBron James had agreed to a two-year extension with the Lakers.

And then that Anthony Davis had agreed to a five-year extension with the Lakers. Both were expected, but for any Laker fan freaking out and sweating that either LeBron or AD was leaving, you can rest assured – that’s not happening.

Nor should it. Why would they leave? They just won a ring and have a really good look at another. I’d make the argument that this year’s roster is better than last year’s.

Doesn’t mean that they will win another title, but all you can ask for at this point is a chance and they have a damn good chance. Better than damn good.

The deals with LeBron and AD aren’t a surprise. But they are pretty interesting. First off, that two year extension LeBron has reportedly agreed to will run through the end of the 2023 season and is reportedly worth 85 mill. And some of you might be thinking, 85 mill is a ton of cash. Especially for a guy who’s turning 36 later this month.

But in this case, it’s not. It’s not even close. LeBron is worth double that, if not more. That’s not hyperbole, that’s not an exaggeration.

Look at where the Lakers were before he arrived. They hadn’t reached the playoffs in years, they were a complete and total mess. Then he shows up and leads them to a ring in his second season. You cannot put a price tag on that. You cannot put a price tag on a moment like this during the trophy presentation.

You could pass the hat among Laker fans and come up with way more than 85 mill to pay him.

Just as a reminder, when LeBron came to the Lakers, they were coming off a 35-win season. And the thinking was, LeBron wasn’t coming to win, he was coming to start his retirement. He was coming to finish this career and start his next career. 

People were clowning him and calling him washed. Laker haters were cackling and looking to celebrate every single loss. And it got worse. Magic quit the organization so that he could tweet. Luke Walton moved on and the search for a replacement took longer than expected. Laker haters were partying hard with every bit of bad Laker news.

And then everything changed in year two. All LeBron did was lead the team to a title in his second season. And now we’re talking about looking to go back to back. And maybe the start of a mini-dynasty.

So no, 85 mill is not a lot of money for him. If anything, he’s underpaid. Just hand him a blank check and call that his contract.

And remember that rap that guys didn’t want to play with him? That nobody wanted to be his teammate? That the overall prestige of the Lakers was gone? How does that take seem now, when LeBron’s got another ring and guys are lining up to be on the Lakers?

And if you want one more interesting wrinkle in the LeBron contract situation, the new deal goes until 2023, when his son, Bronny, could be in the league, if the NBA changes the age limit, as is expected. That is just wild.

And then there’s the Anthony Davis deal. Because some MORE HATERS were trying to make a thing out of the fact that Davis hadn’t signed with the Lakers yet. That he’s an unrestricted free agent and maybe he was thinking of going elsewhere. That was never happening. Never.

Why would he break up a good thing? Have you seen the chemistry that he has with LeBron and how much fun the two of them have? He wasn’t messing with that.

And he proved it by agreeing to a five year deal worth a reported 190 mill. That is a statement. He could’ve handled it differently. He could’ve gone for less than the full five year max. In fact, that was the expectation. I’m not going to go all Salary Cap Guy on you, but there was a way for him to sign a shorter contract now to get a much fatter contract in a few years.

But he took this deal now. Maybe it’s because of Covid and the uncertainty of what that means for the cap. Maybe he just likes being in LA and doesn’t want to leave. Either way, Rob Pelinka and Laker fans have to be looking to party. They’ve brought in a ton of talent, they have LeBron under contract for three more seasons and AD for five.

Laker trippers… and Laker fans are looking to go Mark Madsen every chance they get.