Jerry West not impressed by Lakers luring LeBron James: 'Not a tough free-agent signing'

The Los Angeles Lakers’ signing of LeBron James has been discussed ad nauseam, but when Jerry West speaks up, the NBA world tends to listen.

The Lakers icon who is currently an executive board member with the Los Angeles Clippers spoke with Sports Illustrated about James’ arrival in L.A. and appears less than impressed with his former team’s offseason work.

Jerry West not impressed

“All due respect to the Lakers, who handled everything well, but as these things go, LeBron was not a tough free-agent signing,” West told SI. “LeBron wanted to come to L.A. and he wanted to come to the Lakers. Period.

“He has a family he’s thinking about. He has a home here. He has a son whom he wants to keep in one school in Los Angeles. He will be a celebrity out here, sure, but it’s a place where, once in a while, he can get lost, be himself. You can’t do that everywhere.”

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Iconic LeBron James banner comes down in Cleveland
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Iconic LeBron James banner comes down in Cleveland
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 3: Workers remove the Nike LeBron James banner from the Sherwin-Williams building near Quicken Loans Arena on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 3: Workers remove the Nike LeBron James banner from the Sherwin-Williams building near Quicken Loans Arena on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 3: Workers remove the Nike LeBron James banner from the Sherwin-Williams building near Quicken Loans Arena on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 3: A man poses as workers remove the Nike LeBron James banner from the Sherwin-Williams building near Quicken Loans Arena on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 3: Workers remove the Nike LeBron James banner from the Sherwin-Williams building near Quicken Loans Arena on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 3: Workers remove the Nike LeBron James banner from the Sherwin-Williams building near Quicken Loans Arena on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 3: Workers remove the Nike LeBron James banner from the Sherwin-Williams building near Quicken Loans Arena on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 3: Workers remove the Nike LeBron James banner from the Sherwin-Williams building near Quicken Loans Arena on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 03: Workers take down the LeBron James banner from the Sherwin Williams building on the corner of Ontario and West Huron on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 3: Workers remove the Nike LeBron James banner from the Sherwin-Williams building near Quicken Loans Arena on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 03: Workers take down the LeBron James banner from the Sherwin Williams building on the corner of Ontario and West Huron on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. James has agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 03: Workers take down the LeBron James banner from the Sherwin Williams building on the corner of Ontario and West Huron on July 3, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. James has agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
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Shot from an L.A. rival?

West, a veteran executive who helped lure Shaquille O’Neal to the Lakers in 1996, isn’t exactly saying anything groundbreaking here. James has been rumored to have interest in the Lakers for a long time, and Las Vegas made the Lakers a heavy betting favorite to land James for the exact same reasons West laid out.

But for West to go out of his way to diminish the accomplishment of fellow Lakers icon and current Lakers executive Magic Johnson seems a bit odd. But maybe that’s just what you do when you work for the Clippers.

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