There are conflicting rumors on whether or not LeBron James ever considered the 76ers in free agency. One party thinks he did, but most believe it was always the Lakers and Philadelphia was never a real contender.
Big names changed teams and huge money was handed out the moment the clock struck midnight on July 1, but the story of the summer in the NBA was where James would end up. Would he stay in Cleveland, was he considering other teams or was it always LA and joining a legacy as impactful as the one being offered by the Lakers? Fans may truly never know but multiple reports seem to suggest the Philadelphia 76ers were never really in the conversation despite the franchise being rumored as a possible destination and Sixers managing partner Josh Harris suggesting LeBron likely wrestled with the decision.
ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk reported Harris said of the James' group "I think that they were really serious [about Philadelphia]. The fact that they took the meeting with us was something that they didn’t view lightly, so I think that they were very serious about it.”
Unfortunately, it appears Harris may be the only person who feels this way.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst — who has a reputation for following every James' move — joined the Dan Le Batard Show and made it clear James was not interested in Philly and at best, James considered the 76ers but never seriously. Windhorst said, “He didn’t even grant them a face-to-face meeting. … This year, he only met one team face-to-face; he only talked to two teams—the team he was leaving and the team he was going to.”
The fact that LeBron didn't take the time to "actually" meet with the 76ers speaks volumes. Harris may want to believe his team stood a chance but the insider's favorite from the beginning was the Lakers. The fans knew it, many opposing GM's knew it, the players knew it and it appears, LeBron knew it too.
So too, new details revealed about the meeting James had with Magic Johnson and the Lakers where LeBron laid out his vision for the team is telling. He was able to walk Magic through his entire roster and as a result, the Lakers made sweeping changes. Finally, from businesses to his family, LeBron had a variety of non-related basketball reasons to be in LA.
If you look at the optics of how everything went down, it was always LA and never anyone else.