Fans react to LeBron James headed to The (Lala) Land

Migs Bustos
Photo c/o @Lakers

A few weeks ago, LeBron James shocked many by the speed and content of his newest decision. Unlike in the past, James quickly declared that his new home would be Hollywood, and that he would be a Laker, something a few people, such as my ABS-CBN colleague Gretchen Ho, correctly predicted.

So, despite plenty of rumors linking him to other places: Philly, Boston, even Golden State, the Lakers it was. The NBA, and the basketball world in general was shookt, thanks to his landscape-altering move. And because we're still several weeks away from the start of the regular season, fans can't help but imagine how James and his new crew will play on the court.

After last time checking in on LeBron James fans, I've now sat down with fans of both LBJ and fans of the Lakers, to gauge their feelings on the blockbuster acquisition of Magic Johnson.

(All photos provided by the respondents)

LeBron James fans

Andrew E - Rapper/Entertainer

1. Thoughts on LeBron moving to LA?

"Well, for the millions and millions of LeBron James fans in the US and the world, of which I'm one of them, for us, LBJ’s move to LA is nothing new, or spectacular.

If you were a trueblood LBJ fan right from day 1 (leaving St. Mary's), then we have to be really accustomed to the first reason, that "LBJ is chasing MJ's ghost," but that was during his first stint with Cleveland and another during his time with Miami (because of the 6 rings).

So now there's a new team (LA) where the world is thinking that he'll be wearing (jersey #6 -- bec of the rings, wrong!) Now we are witnessing that he'll be wearing jersey #23 -- but why? Is he chasing the ghost again? Nope.

He's trying to deliver the message that he's no longer primarily chasing rings (no tenacious appetite for that no more, after the video review from the last seconds of game 1 between GSW, haha). Now, his craving is chasing another huge feat... The #1 scoring record."

2. How do you think this move will impact LeBron's legacy?

"LBJ is a brainiac for basketball. His bball IQ is way superior than any other player in the NBA. He is 10 moves ahead.

He will be the one staying if that will be that good for his legacy.

I believe he's on the right track and path where he really wants his name to be shining. And that is to relay to the little kids playing basketball, that the best way of winning one game -- is to be doing a lot for you and your team."

3. Knowing how competitive the Western Conference is, do you expect him to be in the Finals next season?

"Finals, well, only a fortune teller can tell. But, Conference Finals… I guess automatically yes. A giant improvement from where the Lakers were from last season. By that alone, Magic and LeBron would have already won something big.
But true fans are patient, true fans are not rushing to Rushmore that quickly.

Still waiting for those little pieces that can create the best title contending team, and eventually champions.

And two of those are [possibly] Damian Lillard, and [Klay] Thompson (born and raised in LA, and whose father is a broadcaster in LA)."

4. How does this move affect your basketball rooting interests? Will you be cheering for the Lakers now?

"It's gonna be fun and really exciting!

Just like Day 1 - watching LeBron on TV, wearing the Miami Heat jersey. We're looking forward to the same excitement, waiting for LeBron to wear what will be the highest-selling Laker jersey of all time. Like this very minute, it’s already sold out but luckily I have two safely ordered already.

And as a bonus, it will no longer be difficult to watch LeBron in his home games, compared to when he was in Cleveland. It's gonna be easier access now because we got lots of relatives living in LA. Same is true, LA is the hometown for my eldest son Fordy...if you know what i mean,  hahaha.

Let's go LAKERS!!!"

Mariana Lopa - former Ateneo Lady Eagle, former Perlas member, lawyer

1. Thoughts on LeBron moving to LA?

"More than LeBron choosing LA, it’s the length of the deal that is telling. Four years is a commitment LeBron hasnt made in several years. This tells me he wants to build something great there and not just plug himself in and try to win a one-off championship. That’s a LeBron we haven’t seen in a while. It may be tough in the start (depending on the other moves they make) but it’s exciting to see how they build a team around him."

2. How do you think this move will impact LeBron's legacy?

"LeBron has said it himself -- his greatest legacy would be to play with his son. With the length of his deal and the age of his son (13), there is a real possibility that will happen now. That would be AMAZING! "

3. Knowing how competitive the Western Conference is, do you expect him to be in the Finals next season?

"It’s too early to tell. I don’t think the Lakers are done making moves. With one more superstar, it's very possible. "

4. How does this move affect your basketball rooting interests? Will you be cheering for the Lakers now? 

"YES!!! I’ve followed LeBron from the Cavs to Miami and back to Cleveland. I am and always will be a LeBron fan!"

Enzo Mayoralgo - culinary artist, based in Wallsend Diggers, Newcastle, Australia

1. Thoughts on LeBron moving to LA?

"Mixed emotions of course. We all wanted him to stay in Cleveland. That's his home, that’s where he will always belong. His heart. The move he made is a big sacrifice. LeBron is uncertain of winning a title for the next season with or without Kawhi Leonard who as we all know, the Lakers are trying to recruit into their basketball program. However, the window is always open, thanks to a nucleus of young players with a promising future. This just shows that in a nutshell, LeBron is preparing for life after basketball. With his kids studying in LA and his wife's countless endeavours, LA is a good place for Lebron, his businesses and all his endorsements. It is a place where he can play basketball, be certain of his family's future and his stability on and off the court. This seismic move will affect the league and shift the balance of power towards the west. I have to credit Magic Johnson and the Buss family for successfully recruiting The King."

2. How do you think this move will impact LeBron's legacy?

"It will not affect it at all. The man has nothing left to prove. He has delivered his promise of bringing home a ring to Ohio. Selfish as the Miami move would be, what the majority did not see was that Miami was a place of learning and honing his skills further more. As a fan, for me he attained greatness when he promised and delivered a ring to Cleveland. To win another ring/s in LA will further lament and cement his legacy."

3. Knowing how competitive the Western Conference is, do you expect him to be in the Finals next season?

"With the line-up the Lakers have now, no. If they find a way of a "three and D" guy, or [a star] as big as Kahwi Leonard (now with Toronto), or similar to that degree of greatness, then maybe, yes."

4. How does this move affect your basketball rooting interests? Will you be cheering for the Lakers now? 

"I am now a Lakers fan, like it or hate it. Where LeBron goes, I go. The reason is that besides Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Hakeem Olajuwon, I have never seen a dominant player like Lebron James. I am now cheering for a team with a golden history of greatness and accomplishments. However, I am also excited to see the development of Cleveland this time around with the rookie Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman."

LA Lakers fans

Rayver Cruz - Actor

1. How long have you been a Lakers fan? How have you coped with these past few difficult seasons of missing the postseason?

"Kobe fan talaga ako. So habang andun si Kobe, automatic Laker fan ako eh Pero nung umalis na sya, Lebron fan na ako kaagad kasi gusto ko yung move na ginawa nya nung bumalik siya sa Cleveland. After Kobe, LeBron na talaga, so ngayon balik Lakers ako ulit dahil kay LeBron James."

2. How do you feel about the team's move to land LeBron James?

"Excited and masaya para sa Lakers. Galing nila! Finally, pabalik na ang glory days. Kawhi naman! 😂😂😂 Or kahit wag na pala, basta andun si Lebron!"

3. Is Kobe vs LeBron still a debate for you? Where do you side on this issue? Does getting LeBron change your mind?

"Hindi na debate yun, basta for me, first love ko si Black Mamba, then the King."

4. When all is said and done, where do you think LeBron will rank among the Lakers legends?

"Hirap kasi ngayon lang sya naging Lakers eh. Pero kasi best player in the world talaga ngayon si Lebron, so baka next to Kobe!" (laughs)

Marjo Medina - Pilot

1. How long have you been a Lakers fan? How have you coped with these past few difficult seasons of missing the postseason?

"I’ve been a Lakers fan since the Kobe and Shaq days. I coped because I became a LeBron Fan." (laughs)

2. How do you feel about the team's move to land LeBron James?

"I am ecstatic about it and hope another superstar joins and [the team] gets more good players, so that the Lakers will be a threat to the Warriors and other teams in the West."

3. Is Kobe vs LeBron still a debate for you? Where do you side on this issue? Does getting LeBron change your mind?

"There's no really debate for me. Kobe and LeBron are two different players. They're equally great for me in different ways. But if I had to choose one, I'd choose LeBron because he's just so good overall. LeBron moving to LA is just so exciting."

4. When all is said and done, where do you think LeBron will rank among the Lakers legends?

"Magic, Kareem, Kobe, and Shaq will always be on top. LeBron has to win at least two championships in LA to be part of the elite Laker legends."

Josh Buenaventura - PR Account Manager

1. How long have you been a Lakers fan? How have you coped with these past few difficult seasons of missing the postseason?

"I've been a Lakers fan since 2000, the moment I saw Kobe play. I think it was Game 4, 2000 NBA Finals vs the Pacers.

It's been really frustrating. Each of the past five years, you thought they would get a big name in free agency. But all they had was the Sacres, Kellys, Kamans, Ellingtons, and Ed Davises. As a true fan, it hurt not seeing the winningest team in the league even in just the playoffs."

2. How do you feel about the team's move to land LeBron James?

"Thrilled. Excited. Hopeful. It may not result to success right away, but you know it's the right step. It opens doors to capture that 17th banner and tie our good old rivals from BOSTON. "

3. Is Kobe vs LeBron still a debate for you? Where do you side on this issue? Does getting LeBron change your mind?

"Not really. I never debated this because they played in different years and eras. They play two different positions. One is a lethal scorer and killer. The other is a completely all-around and team player. I am actually neutral on these because these two are my childhood idols. You can only imagine what I really felt when Woj came out with that tweet announcing LeBron's move. It hasn't and will never change my mind. As long as LeBron keeps on playing like this for a few more years and the Lakers are back in relevancy, I'm really happy. "​

4. When all is said and done, where do you think LeBron will rank among the Lakers legends?

"There is no doubt, it's definitely top 3. Barring any kind of career ending injury. he'll continue to dominate for at least five more years based on how he takes care of himself. But he's definitely right up there with Kobe and Magic Johnson (my top 1 and 2 personally). ​

​Now if he wins two or more championships for Lala Land, then we have a totally different argument now.​"

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports.

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