NBA Los Angeles Lakers

5 Reasons Why Los Angeles Lakers Can’t Sign LeBron James in 2014

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The Los Angeles Lakers Will Fail to Sign LeBron James

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

With Kobe Bryant's career nearing its end, the Los Angeles Lakers want to sign a new star to lead the franchise. After failing to re-sign Dwight Howard, the Lakers want to try and sign LeBron James during the 2014 free agency. Yet even Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has admitted that he doesn't think they'll be able to sign James. Rumors, however, continue to circulate.

James is exactly the kind of superstar the Lakers need to replace Bryant. His accolades alone prove his status as best player in the NBA: two-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, four-time NBA MVP, etc. And James is famous enough to help carry the Lakers brand.

But the Lakers won't sign James. Which is a shame. Not only for the Lakers organization and for Lakers fans (for how could the Lakers win more championships without a superstar?), but also for James himself. The Lakers brand is exactly what James needs if he wants to grow his own personal brand. Bryant remains one of the most popular athletes in the world. A lot of that has to do with the way Bryant was able to exploit the Lakers brand. James would be able to do the same were he to play for the Lakers.

Lucas Rubio is a columnist for and author of the Playerz League Sports Blog. Follow him on Twitter @PlayerzLeague.

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5. Rings

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Championship rings, that is. And James already won two of them with the Miami Heat. Few reasons can excuse a player for leaving a championship team.

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4. Kobe Bryant

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's Henry Albbott blames Bryant's reputation of being a "difficult teammate" for the Lakers' inability to sign other star players. But the real reason why Bryant will most likely keep James from signing with the Lakers is not Bryant's presence, but rather the shadow of his greatness. Following Bryant is like following Sinatra. Who would want to do that?

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3. Cleveland

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

James may feel tempted to return to his hometown to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. What a sweet story that would make.

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2. "The Decision"

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

James was harshly criticized for his involvement in that media circus he put on with "The Decision" when he left Cleveland. James may want to put the critics behind him by staying out of a market like Los Angeles, where fans and media scrutinize pretty much everything that has to do with their beloved Lakers.

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1. Jim Buss

jim buss
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Since Dr. Jerry Buss handed over Lakers basketball operations to his son Jim Buss, the future of the Lakers franchise remains unknown. With him carrying much of the blame for the Lakers' most recent failures, including their disastrous 2012-13 season and the loss of Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets, the outlook looks anything but bright.