From the start of the partnership between LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, it was apparent that LeBron definitely wanted to play in L.A. for at least a large portion of the rest of his career. That was evidenced by the contract, a four-year deal at the time that surprised many as LeBron had made a habit of signing 2-year deals (with options on the second year) in his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The idea of LeBron playing the rest of his career with the Lakers became even more apparent this past December when he signed an extension to keep him in the purple-and-gold through the 2022-23 season at least.
LeBron James is in the middle of his ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ media run, as the movie’s star continues to rub shoulders with the Hollywood elite in anticipation of the movie’s July 16th release. Just today, he appeared on the “Smartless” podcast, a podcast run by some huge Hollywood comedy names in Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes. In the podcast, he reiterated his desires to be a Laker for a long time, going as far as to say that he hopes to finish his career here in Los Angeles (h/t to Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll and Michael Corvo of Clutch Points):
“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… It’s like me being in “Space Jam” — I never thought it would be possible. You think about Kareem, and Magic, and Wilt, and Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, Kobe, Shaq and all of them, the whole list goes on.”
LeBron James will be 38 once he can become a free agent on the current terms of his Lakers contract. It’ll be an interesting situation at that time in regards to how much longer LeBron thinks he has left, as well as if the Lakers would want to commit what will likely be maximum contract money to a 38-year-old player who has the most minutes of all-time logged onto his body.
Either way, it has become apparent that LeBron would love the idea of staying in L.A. to win some more championships alongside Anthony Davis while also building his entertainment career. No matter what happens between now and the 2023-24 season, that has to make Lakers fans feel great.