Philadelphia 76ers: LeBron James clearly chose the wrong team

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

While Los Angeles may afford better entertainment opportunities, it’s clear LeBron James should have joined the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency.

At this point you kind of have to feel a bit sorry for LeBron James, right?

Less than two months removed from being the fourth seed in the heated Western Conference, his Los Angeles Lakers squad is now 28-28 following a 143-120 afternoon blowout loss to the Philadelphia 76ers and would be out of the playoffs entirely if they started tomorrow.

Sure, Magic Johnson made a few trades to bolster the team’s woeful outside shooting, but after failing to land Anthony Davis, it appears too little too late for this season’s squad.

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And to think, James could be riding high on an Eastern Conference juggernaut had he only decided to take his talents to the City of Brotherly Love back in July.

As fans in the 215 already know, James was the Philadelphia free-agent target after the team was eliminated from the playoffs back in May, leading many to wonder if the ‘King of the East’ would finish out his career in the conference that made him a star, while helping to shepherd along his Clutch Sports protegé Ben Simmons into the league’s next great point forward.

Now James’ camp did give Philly a meeting in free agency, but this appeared to be nothing more than a formality, as LeBron wasn’t even in attendance.

No, for James, Los Angeles appeared to be his only desired destination, as the NBA super-duper-star wanted to further along his expansive media empire and take the next step into the entertainment industry.

That opportunity was not present in Philadelphia, no matter what Sylvester Stallone or M. Night Shyamalan will tell you, but do you know what was available? A chance to continue to compete for NBA championships, a venture that will be much harder to accomplish as long as Golden State‘s Big-4 continues to run the West.

Had James chosen to take his talents to Philly, the team in all likelihood wouldn’t have needed to trade for Jimmy Butler and could have retained Robert Covington and Dario Saric on the team. This would have allowed Elton Brand to retain more of his assets and still make trade deadline moves to acquire even more talent like Tobias Harris, Jonathon Simmons, and Mike Scott.

Could you even imagine a starting five featuring Simmons, J.J. Redick, James, Harris, and Joel Embiid in the paint? I mean, that’s just insane.

But no, instead, James opted to kick it with a Lakers squad on their third coach in five years that’d failed to make the playoffs since 2013. Sure, the team had young talent in Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram, but James bullishly attempted to trade each and every one of them, alongside Villanova great Josh Hart to New Orleans to procure Davis before the deadline.

Clearly deciding to play in LA had nothing to do with basketball.

James is used to rebuilding a team in his image, knowing full well that he’s good enough to get a team into the postseason based on his play alone. Whether wearing a Lakers, Heat, or Cavaliers jersey, a team with James in its starting five is going to need to find cheap shooters and veteran playmakers to help make his life easier.

For better or worse, Philadelphia did not offer that opportunity.

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All Philly had to offer was two of the top-10 players in the entire league under the age of 25, one of the league’s best shooters, and enough assets to trade for one of the most versatile scorers in the league. But hey, ‘Smallfoot‘ was pretty good, right?