LeBron James has been spending some time amid the NBA’s hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic — not to mention his self-quarantine and California’s recently announced mandatory stay-at-home order — interacting with fans on social media.
While fielding myriad questions about countless subjects on Instagram Live, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar indicated he has no designs whatsoever on ever putting on another team’s uniform.
What led to James’ proclamation that he will finish his iconic NBA career as a Laker was a question from fan about which team he would never choose to play for.
LeBron reacts to question on 'NBA team he'd never play for' pic.twitter.com/IgpOhRQjSE— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 20, 2020
“I’m still playing, man; I gotta keep all my options open, man,” James diplomatically replied. ” … 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.”
James signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers in July 2018. While the superstar’s deal does have an opt-out clause for the final year, James will be 37 years old when he closes out the third year of the contract.
James obviously has every right to walk back his “Laker for life” statement in the years ahead. However, should he re-up with L.A. for the 2022-23 season — either by declining to opt out or under the terms of a new deal — James will be in his 20th NBA season.
That’s a lot of mileage for any player, obviously, but for a player like James who has had countless deep postseason runs, it’s unknown whether he will have the will, desire or interest to continue his career at that future point.
It would of course be foolish to underestimate James, whose work ethic is unparalleled across the league. Having said that, the notion that James will finish his career with the Lakers arguably is more of a case of Father Time’s undefeated record than it is his desire to play for another team.
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