NBA

Did LeBron James Just Hint That He Will Finish His Career With the Lakers?

LeBron James is in his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers. He and the Lakers have had a lot of success this season too. They were 49-14 and in first place in the Western Conference before the NBA suspended its season due to the coronavirus. Because of all of this success, is James now planning on finishing his career with the Lakers?

Playing for his home state out of high school

LeBron James was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. He then played basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron. After becoming a top prospect there, the Cleveland Cavaliers then drafted James with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft as an 18-year-old.

Playing for his home state’s team was magical as he helped the Cavalier organization have the most success it had ever had. During the 2006-07 season, James even led the Cavaliers to their first-ever NBA Finals appearance.

James ended up spending seven seasons with the Cavaliers to start his career. He won the 2003-04 Rookie of the Year award and then the NBA’s MVP award during the 2008-09 season and the 2009-10 season. After his rookie year, James never averaged under 27 points in his first stint with the Cavs. He also never averaged under 6.5 rebounds and six assists in those seasons.

The Cavs and James could never get over the hump, though, and win an NBA championship.

LeBron James learned how to win in Miami

In 2010, James left the Cavaliers and joined his friends Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat. James continued his success with the Heat, winning two more MVP awards during the 2011-12 season and the 2012-13 season. The Heat went to four straight NBA Finals and James finally won championships. The Heat won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

After the Heat lost to the Supers in the 2014 NBA Finals, though, James returned home to the Cleveland Cavaliers. When James returned to the Cavs, he said he planned to finish his career in Cleveland.

“I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when,” James said in Sports Illustrated in July 2014.

LeBron James

James ended up leading the Cavs to four straight NBA Finals appearances alongside Kyrie Irving for three of the four and Kevin Love for all four. The Cavs also finally won their first-ever NBA championship in 2016 over the 73-win Golden State Warriors.

Before the 2017-18 season, James reiterated that he planned to finish his career in Cleveland, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. James ultimately left the Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers after the season, though.

James said he wants to be a Laker for life

LeBron James of the Lakers
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers. | John McCoy/Getty Images

After a tough 2018-19 season with the Lakers where James missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005, the Lakers have dominated this year. Adding superstar Anthony Davis this season, the Lakers are championship contenders again.

However, this year has been tough for the organization too. Laker legend Kobe Bryant tragically died in a helicopter accident in January. Then their extremely successful season was suspended in March due to COVID-19.

While James and the rest of the NBA are on this extended break, though, James went on Instagram Live on Thursday.

“What NBA team would I never play for? I’m still playing, man,” James said on Instagram Live, according to Yahoo. “Hey, I’ve got to keep all my options open, man. But 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.”

LeBron James

This quote certainly does not mean that James will 100% retire with the Lakers. However, during a day in age where athletes consistently post cryptic messages on social media, you never know. 

Whatever team LeBron James finishes his career on, their fans will certainly be happy. James does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The 16-time All-Star is averaging 25.7 points per game as a 35-year-old this year. That’s along with 7.9 rebounds per game and a league-high 10.6 assists. Before the NBA went on its hiatus, James was also in a battle for the league’s MVP award as one of the top two candidates with Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.