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Photo: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry

The Western Throne

Sports are better when L.A. teams are competitive, and right now, it seems just about every L.A. team is perched at the top. 

The Rams ran all over my sorry Broncos to a 6-0 record. The Chargers crushed the spirit of a burgeoning Browns squad to move to 4-2, with their only losses coming to the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs and the NFC-leading Rams. The Dodgers are battling in their second straight NLCS.  Zlatan Ibrahimovic has brought the little bit of magic he has left to Hollywood, scoring 21 goals in 25 games, while rookie club LAFC has clinched a top-2 spot in the Western Conference. 

Oh, and this little-known basketball player, LeBron James, will make his Lakers debut this Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers. 

LeBron’s move to the Western Conference goes well beyond basketball. Obviously, as long as the team 400 miles to the north stays healthy and together, the Lakers will live in the Warriors’ dark shadow. LeBron isn’t worried about that; he’s enterprising.

The move to L.A. wasn’t about going to the best available team—if he wanted that he’d be in Philly or Houston—it was about, yet again, being the author of his own history. 

For the first time in years, maybe in his entire career, LeBron looks refreshed. With the weight of a dysfunctional franchise, a childish owner, and aging veteran legs off his mind, the King can focus on molding the future of the NBA superstar: the mogul. 

Likely ending his career in Hollywood gives James the opportunity to leave his legacy on both the basketball and business world with an endgame of becoming the G.O.A.T., and a billionaire. L.A. is the perfect hub to expand his own production company, SpringHill Entertainment, and media publication, Uninterrupted

On the court, LeBron is probably chomping at the bit for the chance to play with young fresh legs for the first time in a decade. If LeBron could make JR Smith, Tristan Thompson, and Kyle Korver look half-decent, imagine what he can do with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma. 

By following in the footsteps of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kobe Bryant, La La Land will be the biggest test of his career, but doubt the King at your own peril. 

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