According to the Washington Post, the addition of LeBron James has the Lakers thinking big. They formed its own “Death Lineup,” with LeBron at the center and they are ready to take down the Warriors.
“I’m a competitor, so I’m not scared of Golden State,” Johnson said Wednesday on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” adding, “I’m not worried about Golden State. They don’t keep me up at night.”
Asked if the Lakers, as constituted “right now,” could beat the Warriors:
Magic replied: “Everybody expects Golden State to win again, but I would love to have the challenge to play them in the Western Conference finals if we can get to that position,” he continued.” … I know that we have a solid team, a good team, a competitive team, and a tough-minded team. And we’ve got guys now who are winners.”
According to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, James would be surrounded by the Lakers’ four most promising young players. “We may not see this on Day One, but the coaching staff is eager to see our version of the [Warriors’] Death Lineup with Lonzo [Ball], Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, [Kyle] Kuzma and LeBron,” an unnamed team executive told Pincus.
But LeBron would have to play at a position not so familiar to him, center.
Johnson claimed in the past that he would be fired if he did not lure a superstar to the Lakes till the summer of 2019.
Asked by Kimmel if, at the time of those comments, he had “a good idea” that he would get LeBron, Johnson replied, “I had confidence in myself, the Laker brand, the young players that we had, and Luke Walton as the coach.”
Johnson said that he and General Manager Rob Pelinka “had done our homework” and “really thought we had a great plan to introduce to LeBron.