Been following LeBron James since 7th grade and one thing I give LeBron credit for is taking his career into his own hands. You can say he started the wave of leaving your team when the window for a championship isscarce, Paul George,Anthony Davis,Jimmy Butler, and Kevin Durant just to name a few big names come to mind as superstars that became disgruntled in their respective situations and sought greener pastures. As far as LeBron goes the decision to go to Miami was to get that monkey off his back and form a team good enough to dethrone his nemesis which were the Boston Celtics during the late 2000’s. Pat Riley wanted LeBron to stick around in Miami as he probably envisioned having a 10 year run similar to the one he had with Magic Johnson in the 1980’s. So LeBron shocks the basketball world and returns to the Cavaliers, it was cheesy at first but I embraced him as a Cavalier once again and the 2016 Championship was an incredible run, victory over a 73-9 Warriors team coming back from a 3-1 deficit and closing out at Oracle Arena Game 7.
LeBron’s decision to sign a 4 year $154 million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Lakers also took me by surprise since he never really signed long-term deals aside from the 6 year $100 million dollar deal he signed with the Miami Heat 2o1o. LeBron traded away the young core of the Lakers for superstar big Anthony Davis and everyone expected LeBron and Davis to possibly 3-peat together which has not been the case so far. Injuries have been the story of LeBron’s tenure in Los Angeles, he failed to lead the Lakers his first season after missing 17 games in a stretch in which the Lakers lost footing in the Western Conference going an abysmal 4-13 through LeBron’s absence. It was smooth sailing 2020 even though the Corona-Virus hit America and their was a 3-4 month delay before basketball resumed, by the time the season resumed most NBA fans checked out unless you are a real fan of the game such as myself.
Last season was full of question marks and roles were never defined but it seemed like the Lakers were on their way to another championship run until Anthony Davis hurt himself in the first round against the Suns. It feels like LeBron is receiving more criticism than ever, although he is averaging 30 ppg at the age of 37 the LeBron haters continue to compare his tenure in Los Angeles and how it pales in comparison to former Laker legend Kobe Bryant’s legacy in Los Angeles. I think the only way LeBron could grow to be embraced by Kobe fans is if he signs an extension this summer which keeps him in Los Angeles until he retires and win another 2 championships as a Laker. Is it far fetched? Not really, what puzzles me is him switching his jersey number from 23 to 6. He says the number 6 is a special number to him but never said he switched over to 6 because he was seeking to catch Michael Jordan in championships to snatch the GOAT crown from the Bulls’s legend once and for all.
I’ve always said that the moment LeBron surpasses Kareem and becomes the all-time leading scorer in NBA history it will be a moment that could make Jordan release a Last Dance 2. I think LeBron should leave the Lakers if he does not see himself winning 2 more titles there, it would be odd if he fell short and ends up with only 5 titles and hangs them up as a Laker. As things stand 6 titles as a Laker is possible if he can manage to overcome the biggest challenge of his career this season and take the Lakers on what could be the most historic run in NBA history these coming playoffs. If all fails and the Lakers get eliminated early this season, you fire Frank Vogel and hire a coach who could unlock the Big 3 next season of Russ,LeBron,and AD. There is no excuses for Frank Vogel this season, he has been missing his best defensive asset in Anthony Davis but he has failed to have the Lakers play consistent defense all-season, it seems like they are in a dog fight every night and allowing 100 points every single game.
To conclude LeBron foresaw a sinking ship in Miami and exited leaving Wade and Bosh stranded in Miami. Anthony Davis can’t be dissapointed if LeBron James leaves him stranded, he hasn’t taken advantage of suiting up alongside arguably the best player in NBA history. LeBron remaining in Los Angeles will come down ultimately to Davis’s durability, LeBron can’t tire himself out a full season at this age and have Davis get injured in the playoffs like he did last season. I don’t believe LeBron will sign an extension this summer with the Lakers because of Anthony Davis, if the Lakers manage to win it all this season I believe he will sign a 2-year extension with an option in case the Lakers don’t draft his son Bronny James 2024. It will come down to how does LeBron want to be remembered by the time he retires, we all know LeBron is obsessed with the narrative of his legacy and maybe he wants to surpass Jordan as a Laker something Magic and Kobe fell short of, till next time.