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LeBron James brings the LA Lakers what they crave the most: relevance

The three-time NBA champion is immersed in the lore of the league and he couldn’t resist the lure of winning a title with one of its most famous teams

The Los Angeles Lakers needed to matter again, so they had no choice but to convince LeBron James to join their team. Basketball’s most glamorous franchise has never done irrelevance well. They need a name on front of the Staples Center to make the building crackle and 41 nights of LaVar and Lonzo Ball still left them miles from the Golden State Warriors.

In signing James, his longtime nemesis Lance Stephenson and Warriors center JaVale McGee on Sunday, the Lakers bought themselves into contention. They didn’t purchase an NBA title but they moved a lot closer than they were two days ago. Given the make-up of the West, the Lakers probably are the conference’s third- or fourth-best team and the possibility of a Kawhi Leonard trade still lingers.

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