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Report: Agents grumble about players needing LeBron James’ approval to join Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 27: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on November 27, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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 Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said he consulted LeBron James (and Anthony Davis) on roster moves last summer.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated:

player agents have grumbled that no one could get on the Lakers without James’s approval.

This sounds very whiny. LeBron is the most important person in the Lakers organization for their championship hopes. He’s also a basketball genius. Of course, he should have major say in filling the roster.

Maybe those agents didn’t present their case well enough. Maybe their players just weren’t good enough. Maybe their players happened not to fit.

All the time, teams don’t sign players. LeBron is an easy scapegoat, because so many people still resent players having control. But LeBron and the Lakers don’t owe anything to those agents or their players.

Sometimes, LeBron’s influence (directly or indirectly) has gotten underqualified friends onto his roster. There’s more room for griping in those cases. But that seemingly didn’t happen last summer. The Lakers didn’t sign Carmelo Anthony, after all.

The Lakers are exceptionally deep behind LeBron and Davis. It was a high bar for earning a roster spot.

Blaming LeBron like this is ridiculous.