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It’s widely known that LeBron James uses his influence to dictate front office decisions. And according to NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton, that’s not cool.
“I don’t know what it’s like to sit in that front office and have things (dictated) to you like a plan, and it appears that LeBron is,” the Utah Jazz legend said.
On a recent episode of the DNP-CD Podcast, Stockton addressed the longstanding rumors that James has the power to dictate his own roster.
“I don’t know for sure that he is, but it appears so,” Stockton said. “I think it would be maddening as a teammate to know that you can be expendable for one of his guys that he thinks he needs to play with.
“The iffiness it causes with the team, the iffiness that it causes upstairs. I don’t like it… I’m not a fan of it.”
The basketball world has long referred to LeBron as “LeGM” for hand picking the players he wants to come to his teams. His organizations have historically wanted to keep him happy so he doesn’t pack up and leave town — potentially leaving them in disastrous state of rebuilding.
Even LeBron’s former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving said the NBA superstar is calling the shots.
“Yeah Bron was behind the scenes… what’s his nickname? LeGM?” Irving said. “He put the squad together! I wasn’t mad at him… I was like ‘Alright, bet. This is how it goes.'”
Is LeBron James actually ‘LeGM’?
Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeannie Buss says James is not pulling all the strings. But she did concede bouncing ideas off your top players is “smart business.”
“Do they have final say? No. Are they running the team? No, no, not at all,” Buss told The Los Angeles Times last year. “I am controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, I’m held accountable for every decision that’s made here.”
Sure, Jeannie. But even if the Lakers front office doesn’t consult LeBron on every move, he probably has veto power.
And to be fair, it’s not particularly unusual for a team’s star athlete in any sport to influence personnel decisions.
But that dynamic puts his teammates in a weird spot. Imagine if your coworker — say, the dude in the cubicle next to you — had the power to cut your pay, demote you or even fire you altogether. He’s not your boss, but he really is.
So John Stockton has a point: “LeGM” might always get whatever he wants. But it really sucks for the rest of the players.