Magic Johnson, the president of basketball operations for the Lakers, needed just one meeting to entice LeBron James to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
Their first and only meeting this offseason took place at 9:01 p.m. PST, just in time for NBA free agency to commence. This was truly the most important gathering Johnson had in his front office career and he proved that by showing up one hour early to James' Los Angeles residence and waited in the car until it was time to start the meeting.
"He didn't need to hear that. He already knew the team, maybe better than I did. He broke the roster down right in front of me," Johnson said per ESPN. "He knew every single guy, the strengths, and weaknesses on our team."
"We had a great time of going back and forth, here we are two guys, similar," Johnson added.
The two are really quite similar. Both James and Johnson have nearly identical body types, both around six-foot-eight and well over 200 pounds. Both handled the ball and facilitated it like point guards, but still found a way to average over 20 points per game.
Aside from stats and attributes, Johnson could connect with James on a personal level as he too came from poverty and had to fight for opportunities in his life.
"Both from the Midwest. Both grew up poor. Both love to compete. Both love to win, and I think both excel at the highest level," Johnson said. "We connected right when I walked in the door. Just two guys that talk free to each other, and talk basketball, and that's what I love about LeBron."
It only took that one meeting for LeBron to be convinced that the Lakers would become the next team he takes his talents to. At 4:30 p.m. the next day Rob Pelinka, the Lakers' general manager, saw a text on his phone from James' agent Rich Paul.
The text simply said "Congratulations."
"It was one of those moments in life you'll never ever forget," Pelinka said. "Everything went in slow motion."