Perhaps no player in the NBA would know LeBron James’ motives better than close friend and former teammate Dwyane Wade.
Wade and James memorable teamed together in Miami to win a pair of titles in four NBA Finals appearances before teaming up briefly again this season in Cleveland.
In a recent interview on Fox Sport Radio’s show with Chris Mannix and Caron Butler, Wade gave insight into what he thinks will be the driving force behind James’ decision this summer.
“To me, I don’t think it’s a basketball thing,” said Wade, who is James’ close friend and former teammate. “Obviously, you saw this year he can get to the Finals no matter what the circumstances are. I don’t really think the basketball decision of saying, ‘Oh, let me go team up with three All-Stars.’ I think at this point in his life, it’s more so of a lifestyle thing of where my family is going to be the most comfortable and where I’m going to be the most happiest at. Because basketball wise, he’s so great that he can bring along and take along whoever.”
This reiterates a point made already this season that his choice will be heavily based on his family’s opinion.
This would, seemingly, put the Lakers in a good position. As it stands on the court, the Lakers are not one of the top options available to James having won just 35 games last season. With teams like Philadelphia and Houston vying for his services, their on-court product is objectively better.
However, the more that off-court matters weigh into James’ decision, the better the chances become for the Lakers. Aside from living a California lifestyle, James has long been focused on building an empire and there is few better places to do that than in Los Angeles.
Certainly, Wade is guessing as much as any other fan as James has likely not informed him about his decision directly or what will go into that. In fact, when James left Miami to re-join Cleveland in 2014, he and his party did not inform Wade ahead of time despite the two spending a plane ride together just prior to James’ final decision.
Still, speculation from a person as close to James as Wade certainly carries more weight than speculation from national writers, for example.
All that is known is the next month will be full of many, many more reports.