LeBron James' Lakers recruiting begins in earnest with public appeal to Kyrie Irving

As we reach the cusp of the NBA Finals, the league’s second season is just warming up.

And LeBron James is getting in on the action.

With one of the NBA’s most anticipated offseasons ever approaching, much of the attention will focus on the Los Angeles Lakers and whether they can land one or more of the high-level free agents hitting the market.

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Is Kyrie Irving interested in Lakers?

One of those pending free agents is Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving, James’ former championship teammate with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The two had a less-than cordial separation in Cleveland that culminated with Irving demanding a trade from the Cavs, reportedly tired of playing in James’ shadow.

After two seasons of injury and disappointment as the man in Boston, Irving has reportedly done some growing up and realized that playing next to a transcendental superstar wasn’t the worst thing for his career.

And the two are now reportedly on good terms, leading to rumors that Irving is considering a move to the Lakers in free agency.

LeBron James knows he's the only legitimate bargaining chip the Lakers have in recruiting free agents to a franchise in turmoil. (AP)
LeBron James knows he's the only legitimate bargaining chip the Lakers have in recruiting free agents to a franchise in turmoil. (AP)

LeBron James is interested in Kyrie Irving

Social media sensation and friend of James, Cuffs the Legend latched on to those rumors Friday, posting an image of Irving in a Lakers jersey to his Instagram page.

James left on no uncertain terms how he felt about the idea, liking the post in what is clearly a calculated recruiting move.

Does anyone want to join this mess?

The stakes are high for the Lakers coming off the most tumultuous and embarrassing season in franchise history.

After signing James in the offseason, the Lakers didn’t come close to making the playoffs. The team was publicly humiliated in failed Anthony Davis trade talks. Head coach Luke Walton was fired. Lakers legend Jerry West reportedly laughed at his former team after getting the best of them in the Ivica Zubac deal.

And, of course, there was Magic Johnson. And Magic Johnson again.

It’s up to LeBron

With James approaching 35 years old, the window to build around him is narrow. James knows amid all the mess in Los Angeles, he’s the team’s best chance at attracting talent to willingly join the Lakers and will surely be pushing hard on the recruiting front.

This is one of the first public steps.

Whether he can convince star players that he’s worth overlooking all the drama in L.A. will be one of the biggest stories of the offseason.

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