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Lakers News: Jeanie Buss Received Advice From Kobe Bryant Before Pursuing LeBron James

The Black Mamba gave Jeanie Buss some guidance before the Lakers pursued King James

Before the Lakers won the 2020 NBA championship, the Lakers previous few seasons were rife with losing, internal strife, and overall malaise. Bringing one of the best players of all time in LeBron James was a long process that did not come easy.

The Lakers missed six consecutive postseasons and had four consecutive years where they won 27 games or fewer. Those kinds of seasons do not exactly have big time free agents excited to come to the team, much less a player widely considered the best in the league in LeBron James. 

The infighting in the Buss family could fill a book all on its own. Suffice to say, the Lakers front office included days in court, where Jeanie ended up on top and cleaning house, so to speak. 

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Amidst all this, Jeanie apparently had a serious conversation with former Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant about recruiting LeBron James. Per The Undefeated, this is what Kobe said he told Jeanie.

“I’ll tell you, when Jeanie Buss came to me and said, ‘I really want to go after [LeBron],’ I said, ‘Jeanie, he’s not coming here until you clean up this s— here.' The last thing LeBron wants to do is come to an organization that has a lot of infighting, a lot of the stuff going on. Jeanie, it’s time for you to take ownership of this franchise. He’s not going to come if you don’t.”

Kobe Bryant's advice obviously is very important, but it's clear that Jeanie knew all this. Jeanie Buss is a brilliant business-woman who set all these things in motion years in advance. Still, Kobe Bryant being a former superstar and confirming this for Jeanie surely would have been affirming. 

Since then, the only thing Jeanie and the Lakers front office has done has been to trade for All-Star Anthony Davis, and win a title, and now they're going for another one in 2021-2022 with Russell Westbrook also coming to LA. Credit LeBron James, credit Kobe Bryant for their success, but clearly also credit Jeanie Buss and the Lakers front office for restoring the Lakers to the top of the NBA, where Laker fans know they belong.