LeBron James could have established a crosstown rivalry with Kevin Durant in New York if it wasn’t for Savannah’s intervention.
The summer of 2018 was an eventful one. LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Paul George were all free agents, while Kawhi Leonard was a wantaway star at that point.
Tons of rumors had sprung up all through the 2017-18 season, linking James to the Lakers. The Purple and Gold brigade, however, wasn’t the only party interested in signing the world’s best player. There was at least one other traditional powerhouse of a franchise in the sweepstakes.
The likes of Philadelphia and San Antonio were also in the mix for basketball reasons. But we knew instinctively that a man like LeBron would likely be looking for a big market more than anything else. After all, James had never been in a traditional big market all through his career.
Lisa Robinson claims that Savannah coaxed LeBron James into signing with the Lakers
Lisa Robinson of Vanity Fair was recently a guest on the “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast. According to her, James was quite close to signing with the Knicks based on his personal preferences:
“We heard that LeBron wanted to come to New York. And I have really good sources about this, that he was thinking about coming to New York but that his wife wanted to be in Los Angeles, wanted the kids to go to school in Los Angeles, and that just kiboshed the whole thing.”
“We heard that LeBron wanted to come to New York. And I have really good sources about this, that he was thinking about coming to New York but that his wife wanted to be in Los Angeles.”
– Lisa Robinson of Vanity Fair
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) May 21, 2021
This rumor is made a bit more credible by the fact that Savannah has long held a preference for LA. It was the major talking point during the 2017-18 season that led analysts to believe LeBron would head to Los Angeles.