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LeBron James, Lakers benefit from star’s strong bond with ownership

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are firing on all cylinders in the superstar’s second season with the team, and how he has forged such a strong relationship with the organization’s front office suggests enduring harmony in the future.

In a deep dive exploring James’ brief run in L.A., Brian Windhorst of ESPN lays out how a superstar not necessarily known for seeing eye to eye with team ownership and management at certain points in his career has found the situation entirely different with Lakers co-owner and CEO Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka.

“Those close to James describe his relationship with Jeanie and her lead executive, Linda Rambis, as the most connected he has been with ownership in his career,” Windhorst writes. “Though he has been with the team for less than two years, unexpected turbulence has brought them together — a diametric shift from situations in James’ past.”

This developing bond between James and Buss is said to have played a critical role in how the Lakers navigated the heart-wrenching aftermath of the tragic deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, along with seven others, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26.

James is said to have worked in concert with Buss and Pelinka to help create a support system for his Lakers teammates in the immediate wake of Bryant’s death.

While Lakers brass then mostly focused on consoling and comforting Vanessa Bryant, James coordinated with NBA commissioner Adam Silver to arrange the postponement of the team’s game scheduled for Jan. 28, only days after Bryant’s shocking death.

The Lakers are without question thriving in James’ second season with the organization with a Western Conference-best 46-13 record. Given how well things are going both on and off the court, it’s feasible that James has found an NBA home where he conceivably could close out his outstanding career.