Back in 2018, LeBron James had finished his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers and he was looking for a new challenge in the NBA. He ended up signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, the team he led to have the best record in the Western Conference this season alongside Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma and co.
Things could’ve been extremely different for LeBron and the Lakers, given that the player was considering signing with a different team during the 2018 free agency. James reportedly had the Philadelphia 76ers as his second option in the league, right behind the Lakers. In the end, he went to the West, to California and joined one of the most successful franchises in NBA history.
However, there is a strong belief that the Sixers had a very good chance to land LeBron two years ago. The Sixers actually met with Bron and his camp and they felt they caught the attention of the King and his agent.
“I think they considered us very strongly,” Sixers managing partner Josh Harris said of James’ group in 2018. “I think he — I would be speculating on how he makes his decisions, and I don’t want to do that — but I think that they were really serious [about Philadelphia]. The fact that they took the meeting with us was something that they didn’t view lightly, so I think that they were very serious about it.”
Had LeBron join the 76ers, he would’ve joined Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, two of the best young players in the league right now. It’s unclear how LeBron would have managed the situation, knowing that the Sixers didn’t and still don’t have shooters on the roster. The team has been immersed in plenty of rumors about a Simmons-Embiid breakout and perhaps that wouldn’t have happened with LeBron or the team or James’ presence would have accelerated that process.
We’ll never know unless LeBron hits free agency and signs with the Sixers. As for right now, he looks comfortable and very happy with the Lakers, while the Sixers keep struggling to find their best version.