David Stern on LeBron James to Lakers: 'I Always Thought It Was Going to Happen'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 22:  LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against the San Antonio Spurs on October 22, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Former NBA commissioner David Stern wasn't surprised when LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers during the offseason.

In an interview with Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated, Stern suggested that he saw the writing on the wall regarding James: "I always thought it was going to happen that way. Someone tells me his son is enrolled at Crossroads [in Santa Monica, California]. He wants to be with his family. It was a family decision. I mean, Maverick [Carter, James' business manager] moved there. C'mon! C'mon, guy!"

James has now left the Cavs twice in free agency, as he previously departed to sign with the Miami Heat in 2010.

Stern was at the helm when James broke into the league as an 18-year-old in 2003, and he watched as he developed into arguably the greatest player of all time.

James is already a 14-time All-Star, four-time MVP, three-time NBA champion and three-time NBA Finals MVP at the age of 33.

LeBron has also reached the NBA Finals in eight consecutive seasons.

That streak is in danger of ending this season, as the Lakers are off to an 0-3 start.

James has remained productive, though, with averages of 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game.

In signing with the Lakers, James was playing the long game. Most of their key players are young and still developing, such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.

If they continue to grow and the Lakers can land another star in free agency next offseason, LeBron may be able to bring back the glory days in L.A. despite the presence of elite teams in the Western Conference, like the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.

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