The Los Angeles Lakers were not in the best spot when LeBron James decided to sign with the team. They missed the playoffs in five straight seasons and weren’t heading in the right direction. After he was done in Cleveland, LeBron clearly wanted to play in a bigger market. Los Angeles made a lot of sense due to his interest in film.
However, he may not have actually wanted to head to the city. According to Lisa Robinson of Vanity Fair on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast, LeBron preferred the idea of playing for the New York Knicks.
“We heard that LeBron wanted to come to New York,” Robinson said. “And I have really good sources about this, that he was thinking about coming to New York but that his wife wanted to be in Los Angeles, wanted the kids to go to school in Los Angeles, and that just kiboshed the whole thing.”
LeBron’s love for New York is common knowledge but it is surprising that he almost played for the Knicks. The NBA landscape would be vastly different right now had that been the case. The Knicks are one of the league’s biggest brands but they are about to make only their first playoff appearance in eight years. There’s no doubt they would’ve been ahead of schedule had LeBron joined the team.
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Will LeBron Retire a Laker?
Now that LeBron has spent a few years with the Lakers, it’s hard to imagine he isn’t happy with his decision. He’s already won one championship and gets to play with one of his closest friends in Anthony Davis. The superstar also signed a contract extension this past offseason that keeps him on the team until 2023. He’ll be pushing 40 at that point which means it’s likely that he’ll no longer be a top-five player.
Not many NBA players have played into their 40s but LeBron is unique. He hasn’t suffered many injuries throughout his career and he takes excellent care of his body. The Lakers will keep him on the squad as long as he wants so if he leaves, that’ll be his decision.
LeBron Could Play With Son in Near Future
Interestingly enough, LeBron’s contract runs out in 2023 and that’s the same year his son Bronny could be eligible to enter the NBA Draft. That wasn’t an accident.
“The best thing about it is the year I’ll be a free agent will be the same year my oldest son graduates high school,” LeBron said in December, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “So I’ll have some options to see, for me personally, what I want to do forward, being around my family, being around my son more or continue to play this game I love with great health and great spirits. We’ll see.”
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, it sounds like LeBron is set on playing with his son. Depending on how his draft prospects look in the next couple of years, he could end up with the Lakers. That said, teams could target Bronny early in the draft if they know it means they’ll also get LeBron. It will be very interesting to see how the whole thing plays out.
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