LeBron James loves playing and living in California. More specifically, he seems to love being a part of the Los Angeles Lakers. The empire he’s built by way of basketball could not be in a better location for the late stages of his career. His kids are in one of the best schools, and for the overwhelming majority of his time here, he has been playing high-level basketball.
Sadly, the team is struggling, but health and roster imbalance can improve in time. LeBron knows this to be true. It can be reflected in his post-game comments after a 105-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. LeBron spoke with a fiery and passionate tone last night, a tone that also carried a little of annoyance in regards to the media taking his words and other reports and making it seem like he doesn’t want to be a part of this franchise.
The following quotes from LeBron were transcribed by Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll:
Reporter: For clarity’s sake there then, is this a team you see yourself playing with beyond…
“This is a franchise I see myself being with.”
Reporter: Beyond your contract?
“I’m here. I’m here. You guys, I continue to tell you guys, Dave [McMenamin of ESPN] knows me more than any one of your guys, and I’ll tell you, I literally live in the moment. I do. I live in the moment. And I see myself being with the purple and gold as long as I can play. But also, I have a goal that if it’s possible, and I don’t even know if it’s possible, but if I can play with my son, I would love to do that… That’s like the coolest thing that could possibly happen. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be with this franchise.”
With so much drama the last week or so, it’s good to hear James’ commitment, as well as his irritation with the continued badgering. It was reported yesterday that Klutch Sports super agent Rich Paul met with Lakers brass on Tuesday to discuss where he stood on his relationship with the team. As a franchise, the Lakers have to continue to do as much as they can to extend LeBron’s window. As a member of the team, LeBron has to always put them in a position to succeed.
Time will be the lone proof that both sides believe in each other. If they don’t, the noise will grow louder and something will have to give. If something does have to be changed, they will need to get on the same page and slowly repair the bridge that has a few cracks in it. James isn’t getting any younger, and the league is not getting any less talented. They need each other’s best going forward.