Lakers fan latest to use billboards to try to lure LeBron
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 17: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers walks through the hallway after the game against the Washington Wizards on December 17, 2017 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
Let the wooing of LeBron James -- via billboard -- continue.
After a fan in Philadelphia a week or so ago erected three billboards in Ohio an attempt to sway the Cleveland Cavaliers' superstar to sign with the 76ers, a Los Angeles Lakers season-ticket holder is doing likewise -- but not in Ohio.
According to ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk, personal injury attorney Jacob Emrani put up four billboards around Los Angeles to try and woo James, who can enter free agency this summer:
As the Cavaliers make their only trip of the regular season to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Friday and the Lakers on Sunday, Emrani wants James to know he's wanted in purple and gold. The Lakers have the ability to create as much as $70 million in cap space to pursue two max free agent stars like James and Oklahoma City's Paul George this summer.
The Lakers do not have anything to do with the billboards. The organization has already been fined by the NBA twice for tampering charges. The Lakers were fined $500,000 for tampering when the league said general manager Rob Pelinka contacted George's agent before the season and then another $50,000 for comments team president Magic Johnson made praising Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Emrani, who owns The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani, paid for four billboards. Two went up Wednesday morning -- one in Westwood and the other on the 710 freeway. They all have the hashtag #LABron on them. One also says "Cleveland & Philly, You Can't Compete with L.A." with a No. 23 jersey in purple accompanied by a gold crown. Another says "FORGET THE PROCESS, WE WIN BANNERS!"
"One of [the billboards] is shooting back at both Philly and Cleveland regarding the fact that they can't compete with L.A.," Emrani, who has advertised with ESPN radio in Los Angeles for almost 10 years, told ESPN. "... We don't need a 'Process.' In L.A., we win banners dude."
"Stop spending your money," Emrani added of his message to Sixers fans. "Philly feels like they can convince him to come and complete a startup. We are not about startups here. They got a startup over there. We got legacy here."
Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times provided a photo of the billboards on Twitter:
4 LeBron billboards are going up around LA today. These. A 3rd depicts Lakers retired jerseys with LeBron’s as the next one. A 4th says “Forget The Process, we win banners.” Bought by attorney, and Laker fan, Jacob Emrani. Cavs play Clippers & Lakers this week. pic.twitter.com/XaWLGN49pE— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 7, 2018
Emrani would not say how much he paid for the billboards, but told ESPN he has more than 50 billboards advertising his companies across L.A. He says the average for a billboard is "anywhere between $7,500 to $25,000 depending on location." He also told ESPN he plans to keep the billboards up for a month, but may change the location of them after that.