Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant

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Kobe Bryant has reportedly been recruiting Kyrie Irving for Lakers

Nick Friar
May 28, 2019 - 7:23 pm

Just over a week ago, Magic Johnson expressed the Lakers would be able to land Kyrie Irving or Kawhi Leonard, whichever Los Angeles prefers. The primary reason: LeBron James. And it’s not simply because of James’ ability on the court. Johnson made a point of saying “Once you get in the room and you got LeBron sitting there, see, everything changes,” during his appearance on ESPN’s “First Take.”

Other reports indicate Irving has ruled out reuniting with James, but it appears the Lakers feel they still have a chance. And, apparently, they’re taking Johnson’s lead on the theory that James’ presence in a meeting has a significant impact by utilizing another Hall of Fame talent to court Irving.

FS1 NBA analyst Ric Bucher said in his appearance on FS1’s “The Herd” that Lakers great Kobe Bryant has had a hand in Los Angeles’ attempt to get Irving in purple and gold.

“The latest that I’ve heard is that it’s between Brooklyn and the Lakers,” Bucher said. “And I’ve heard that the Lakers and Kobe Bryant — now Kobe told me, or indicated to me, that he was not involved. That he was, ‘Hey, that’s their deal. I’m not part of it.’ But I was told in the last 24 hours, Kobe has been busy recruiting Kyrie, in particular, to try to get him to the Lakers.”

However, Bucher still feels the Nets are the leader in signing Irving. On top of the repeated reasoning that Irving is originally from the area, Bucher added Irving “if we’re going to continue our real estate (game), he just bought a place in South Orange.” (South Orange is in New Jersey.)