LeBron James’s Move to the Lakers and its Impact
LeBron James has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. He has left the Cavaliers for the second time in his career and has picked LA as his next destination. This is a big move not only for the teams concerned, the Cavaliers and the Lakers, but also the current champions, the Golden State Warriors and the NBA itself.
How can it be any other way? This is LeBron James we are talking about here, one of the all time greats. The first time he left the Cavs to move to the Heat, he ended up winning two NBA titles. He had unfinished business with the Cavs so he returned and led them to four straight NBA Finals appearance, winning one. The Cavaliers however came up short against the Warriors on the other three occasions and now he has decided to take up a new challenge.
This transfer will have ramifications for everyone and it will be really interesting to study LeBron James move to the Lakers and its impact.
The Impact on the Cleveland Cavaliers
When LeBron moved to the Miami Heat in 2010, it stung everyone associated with the Cleveland Cavaliers. That team was built around his incredible talents and LeBron moving to Miami changed everything. LeBron moving to LA hurt a lot of people but this time the reaction is not that fierce.
The Cleveland Cavaliers failed to make it the postseason even once between 2010-2011 and 2013-2014 seasons. When he returned, they not only made it back to the playoffs but went to level of competing for the NBA Championship. They were unfortunate that standing in their way were the Golden State Warriors, who are arguably putting up the greatest run in NBA history since the Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls.
So, where does this put the Cleveland Cavaliers? It basically changes everything for the franchise. Their plans heading into the new season will now need a complete rework. In fact, a lot of people now think that the Cavaliers will even struggle to make the playoffs this time around. Those doubts are well justified and now the management has its work cut out to prove the doubters wrong. There is no denying the fact that LeBron was the heart and soul of the Cavaliers and him leaving for the Lakers is a massive setback.
The Impact on the Los Angeles Lakers
On the other hand, this is a great achievement for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have a core of extremely talented young players like Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. They have been working behind the scenes to put together a roster that will be good enough to take them back to the top. The arrival of LeBron gives them a weapon that will be too hot to handle for the opposition.
The Lakers have been on a downward spiral for a few years now. The last time they were in the playoffs was in the 2012-2013 season where they were routed by the Spurs 4-0 in the first round. LeBron’s arrival changes the entire scenario in a heartbeat. Now they have one of the biggest names in the sport’s history among their ranks and not does it only add some serious firepower but it also gives their young stars an amazing mentor to learn from.
Suddenly the picture looks a lot brighter for the Lakers. They are now one of the favorites to not only make it to the playoffs but also to the NBA Finals. LeBron has played in eight NBA Finals in as many seasons. Four of those appearances came with the Heat and other four came with the Cavaliers. It opens up a lot of possibilities for the Lakers and LeBron might turn out to be the missing piece they had been looking for to make it back to the top of the ladder.
The Impact on the Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are the team to beat right now. Their three NBA titles in four seasons is a testament to that fact. Stephen Curry and Co have been close to unstoppable and they are once again the favorites to win the NBA title, their third on the bounce. The question now is, does the LeBron move change anything for the Warriors? The simple answer is yes.
The Los Angeles Lakers will be a new obstacle they will have to overcome to prove they are the best in the NBA. They have met the Cavaliers in all of their last four NBA Finals appearances and the Lakers will now give them a new challenge. It also means now they have a serious challenger from California to tackle, one that will push them all the way.
The rise of the Lakers also means that the Warriors cannot slack since the Western Conference now just got a whole lot more interesting. The current champions will have to be on their guard every night. The arrival of LeBron to a big city like Los Angeles means that now players, especially free agents would want to move to the Lakers. Playing for LeBron and challenging for titles will be a push too hard to resist and it gives the Lakers an advantage over the Warriors who had begun to attract free agents over the last few seasons.
The Impact on the NBA
The LeBron move impacts the NBA on the whole in more ways than one. His move to the Lakers gives other teams in the Eastern Conference a chance too. The next NBA Finals will be the first in eight years not to feature a side containing LeBron James.
The other sides in both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference will now have to realign and rethink their strategies for the next season. It gives teams like the Boston Celtics a good opportunity to make it to the NBA Finals. The Celtics pushed the Cavs all the way to seven games in the conference finals last season and with LeBron now moving to LA, it gives them more or less a free run. The Celtics have a very good squad and they now will be the team to beat in the East.
The fact that LeBron has moved to the Lakers means that the East will be more open next year while the West will be more competitive than it has been in recent years. It makes for an intriguing season next time around and the fans for one cannot wait for it to start.