When we think of storybook endings we think of Michael Jordan and how he capped off his playing career at byforcing a turnover and getting Bryon Russell off guard for a game clinching jumper which put the entire Salt Lake City to bed. 2 3-peats and left the game of basketball with nothing left to prove which is why most do not hold him accountable for his 2-year tenure with the Washington where he failed to make the playoffs but has his moments in the all-star game with the notorious fade-away jumper to win the game. Most people think of LeBron James and they immediately compare him to Michael Jordan and I believe LeBron understands that but him going out a champion is highly unlikely. I always thought Kobe Bryant deserved another shot at a 6th championship but he took his $124 million dollars and rotted away alongside a ton of Lakers’s youngsters and an over the hill Carlos Boozer.
The 60 point performance which all but eliminated the Utah Jazz out of playoff contention was incredible to watch, Kobe Bryant went on one of his one of his many notorious scoring binges and reminded Staples Center and the NBA world just how ruthless he was in his prime as a scorer one last time. Michael Jordan left us believing he was the ultimate winner and for me growing up as a kid he sure was mystical and almost like he could do no wrong as human being. We know one thing LeBron James has vocally said on record that his last year in the NBA will be played with his son Bronny James who isn’t a highly touted prospect at the moment but come the year he gets drafted LeBron will be dominating story lines the same way he’s been doing practically his entire career in the NBA. 3 likely options for Bronny James are the Oklahoma City Thunder,Los Angeles Lakers, and Cleveland Cavaliers with the Utah Jazz being a darkhorse since Danny Ainge has just as many draft picks to work with as Sam Presti.
No one knows what LeBron’s career will look like by the time he hits 40, he was an ironman his entire career and ever since he has donned a Laker uniform he now has a reputation for being injury prone and you can’t really rely on him to play over 75 games in a season any longer. One thing is certain LeBron will want want a storybook ending, he loves attention and will make sure that even when he retires from the sport as a player we will feel his absence in the media and all the LeBron/Jordan debates along with Skip Bayless’s creepy hate for him on National TV. Assuming LeBron does indeed play out his last season with his son Bronny James looking at Cleveland they boast Darius Garland at point guard and Oklahoma City boasts Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, I’d assume Bronny James will be a point guard at the NBA level not because he wouldn’t be tall enough to play shooting guard at the NBA level it’s just his game is better suited to play point-guard.
Point guards in the NBA now are usually high-scoring guards(Curry,Lillard,Young,Morant,Luka,Murray,Irving) just to name a few who all look to take at least 15-17 shots every game, the game is different now sure we still have some pure point guards in the NBA in Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander but now bigs play-make a lot more along with forwards so you don’t necessarily need to be a wizard with the ball with Pete Maravich level court vision and passing ability to start at the 1. This all leads me to believe that LeBron James will either retire a Laker or join forces with Bronny in Oklahoma City being that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could just switch over to the 2 and Giddey can slide down to the 3 while LeBron James can play the 4 and Chet Holmgren the 5. Or Oklahoma City ships out Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to make room for Bronny James at the 1 and all but guaranteed LeBron James bolts Los Angeles for Oklahoma City. Or it could all happen in Los Angeles, it seems likely LeBro James wins 1 more championship over the next 2 seasons as a Laker as him signing a second 2-year extension shows he wants to leave that window for a potential exit open.
Most would say well what correlation does LeBron have with Oklahoma City? None really but Sam Presti has a ton of leverage over the next 2 drafts and whole lot of draft picks and young assets to offer and for those who are not aware LeBron James praised Sam Presti months ago for his innate ability to hit home-runs in past drafts with players such as Kevin Durant,Russell Westbrook,James Harden,Jeff Green,Reggie Jackson, and recently Josh Giddey. Some even believe LeBron wants Presti to replace Pelinka in Los Angeles which is highly unlikely considering Chet Holmgren is going to make Sam Presti look like the Einstein of drafting that he really is. But then we should ask ourselves why would LeBron James want a highly competent GM in the last season of his playing career which makes me believe his last year in the NBA could be much like Michael Jordan’s tenure in Washinton just better as Michael was never playing to win when he came back after retiring for sole business purposes.
LeBron won’t be coming out of retirement his last season in the NBA and let’s not be delusional to believe he’ll be chasing a 6th championship the last season of his illustrous career. Why he chose #6 when he likely won’t reach 6 rings as a Laker is beyond me or maybe he chose the number because he won’t actually retire until he wins that 6th championship to tie Michael Jordan in rings? Winning that 6th championship with his son Bronny James? Talk about a pipe dream it’s no happening, the league is too competitive juggernauts in Luka Doncic,Giannis Antetokoumpo,Zion Williamson,and Nikola Jokic will likely be collecting rings from now to 2030 and LeBron’s window for a championship is over his next 2 years as a Laker. If he bolts for Cleveland 2024 a 6th ring is possible but where would Bronny James fit into the picture with Garland and Mitchell in the backcourt?
This all leads me to believe LeBron James could likely retire a Laker, Jeanie Buss wants it and if I was a fortune teller I’d predict LeBron James makes his mark in Los Angeles and retires a Laker legend. The Lakers have room for Bronny James in the backcourt unlike Clevelandand and Oklahoma City whom might have to make personnel decisions in order to make room for both LeBron and Bronny 2 years from now. I once bought a LeBron James t-shirt and it had LeBron dunking as a high-schooler,Cavalier,Heat,Cavalier, and then a Laker and I think the timeline for his NBA career makes sense if he ends it all in Los Angeles. The Lakers once even offered Kobe Bryant in exchange for a young LeBron James a trade offer the Cavaliers rebuffed, so the correlation between LeBron and the Lakers was always there and it all just makes sense for the Lakers to retire someone who could remind us of former legends Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson on the basketball court. I can already envision LeBron james waving his hand at the Staples Center’s jam packed arena and dropping the ball off mid-court at the end of his last game and passing the torche off to Bronny.