If LeBron James continues to play after his current contract expires, it sounds like he’s only willing to play for one team: the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 35-year-old James said he plans to “be a Laker for the rest of my life” while doing a live stream on Instagram.
James was asked which NBA franchise he would never join. He answered by saying, “I’m still playing, man. I gotta keep all my options open, man. But right now, I’ll tell you one thing. I don’t want to go nowhere besides be here, baby. Be a Laker for the rest of my life.”
There are still two years left on James’ four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers. He’ll be 37 when that deal expires. If James is still effective, he could continue his playing career for a few more years. Tim Duncan played until he was 39. Vince Carter is 43 this season. If James opts for the same route, it sounds like he wants to finish things out with the Lakers.
James did leave himself enough wiggle room to back out of that proclamation in a couple years, though. He did add the “right now.” He even said he has to keep his “options open,” though he could be referring to a situation where the Lakers decide to part ways with James.
If the Lakers’ situation changes, or if James feels differently in a few years, he can easily leave the team and still be considered a Laker for the rest of his life. No one is going to take away the time he spent with the franchise. The same can be said for James’ time with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat. He’s already members of those franchises for life.
Still, Lakers fans should be excited about the prospect of James spending a few more seasons in Los Angeles. While there’s plenty of uncertainty over whether the NBA season will continue in 2020, James and Anthony Davis had the team dominating opponents. If the season restarts, the Lakers will be considered favorites to reach the NBA Finals.
Even if the 2020 season never resumes, the Lakers would still be considered strong contenders next season. That’s going to be the case as long as James keeps playing at a high level.
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