It's better to be early than late.
Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson wasn't going to take any chances on June 30 when he was set to meet with the ultimate prize of this year's free-agent class in LeBron James.
Johnson told Spectrum SportsNet's Mike Bresnahan that he arrived an hour early and waited outside James' house in his car before their face-to-face meeting at 9:01 p.m. PT.
"We had a great time of going back and forth, here we are two guys, similar," Johnson said, via ESPN. "Both from the Midwest. Both grew up poor. Both love to compete. Both love to win, and I think both excel at the highest level.
"We connected right when I walked in the door. Just two guys that talk free to each other, and talk basketball, and that's what I love about LeBron."
Johnson didn't want to pitch James by talking up the storied history of the Lakers and their 16 championships. He knew how well-informed the four-time Most Valuable Player already was, and didn't want to waste his time.
"He didn't need to hear that. He already knew the team, maybe better than I did. He broke the roster down right in front of me. ... He knew every single guy, the strength and weaknesses on our team," Johnson added of LeBron.
James' agent, Rich Paul, texted Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka the next day to inform him that his client was prepared to sign with the franchise, which LeBron eventually did on a four-year, $153-million contract.