One of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James just finished up his 18 season in the Association and his third campaign in Southern California.
Even at the advanced age of 36 and with some injury issues popping up recently, James has not necessarily seen his game regress in recent seasons.
This past year saw the 17-time All-Star and four-time NBA champion continue to perform at a high level. James averaged 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists.
Fresh off a first-round exit in the NBA Playoffs, it looks like the Los Angeles Lakers star isn’t even looking at the possibility of retirement. In fact, James made some news on the “Smartless” podcast with actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett. In said interview, the four-time NBA Finals MVP indicated that he wants to finish his career with the Lakers.
“I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers. However many years that is, if it’s four, five, six, whatever, seven, I hope I can continue to play the game,” James said. “I love being in L.A., my family loves being in L.A. Being with a historical franchise like the Lakers is something.”
Not only was James’ decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of the 2018-19 season made from an on-court perspective, the idea of relocating to Southern California was about his brand.
He’s a co-founder of SpringHill Entertainment production company and is starring in a “Space Jam” sequel set to premiere later in July. Simply put, Los Angeles gives James the largest audience to continue what has already been a successful entertainment career — one that will extend far beyond his NBA playing days.
Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA title contention and LeBron James
It’s safe to say that Los Angeles will remain top-end title contenders as long as King James and Anthony Davis are healthy. That was not the case this past season, especially with AD injured during the Lakers’ first-round playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Even then, there’s going to be some onus on general manager Rob Pelinka to add a better supporting cast behind these two superstars. James remains one of the top-five players in the game. That’s not even debatable right now.
Instead, it’s all about the Los Angeles Lakers taking care of business to help James contend for titles as his career comes to a conclusion, whether that’s in three years or seven years.
It will likely start with Los Angeles trading disgruntled forward Kyle Kuzma and attempting to find an upgrade over Dennis Schroder at point guard after the latter struggled big time during the playoffs.
One thing we do know. James remains a major draw of free agents and star players. It would not be a surprise if Los Angeles were able to add a third star to the mix despite its lack of true assets to offer up other teams in trade scenarios.
Regardless, it’s going to be an interesting several weeks in Southern California. And if James can be taken at his word, it will also be an exciting several years for Los Angeles Lakers fans. That’s for sure.