Lakers Legend Magic Johnson Praises LeBron James, Discusses Recruiting Process


Jan 13, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson appeared on this week’s episode of the All The Smoke podcast and offered high praise for the team’s current star LeBron James, who’s averaging a remarkable 29.0 PPG in this his 20th NBA campaign.

“He’s been doing it since 18 years old and at a high level,” said Johnson. “And even still today, playing at that high level. But what I really love about LeBron is his basketball IQ and the fact that he makes his teammates better. He puts them on his back, and he can will his team to victory both with his scoring and passing ability, and then rebounding as well. He’s always been committed to taking care of his body, and that’s why he’s been able to play this long. His impact will be felt long after he’s gone.”

Johnson also spoke about luring James to LA while the former served as the Lakers’ President of Basketball Operations.

“I knew when I had that meeting with him and (agent) Rich Paul here in Los Angeles, I knew what he wanted,” said Johnson. “I knew he wanted to win, No. 1, but No. 2, Los Angeles, he could live and live free and drive around and live a life that he wanted to live that he couldn’t live in Cleveland or Miami because everybody’s on top of him. I think because we have so many celebrities here, he could fit right on in. So, I told him, I’m going to build a team that’s going to win a championship. No question about it. But also, too, he’s going to build a billion-dollar business here off the court because we love our celebrities out here. And he bought into it.”

James led the Lakers to an NBA Championship during the 2020 NBA Bubble, a year after Johnson resigned from the organization. The 38-year-old also became the first active NBA player to reach billionaire status in June of 2022.

While the Lakers have struggled on the court in recent seasons, it’s safe to say that LeBron’s decision to join the Purple and Gold was wise.

Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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