Last week, Knicks legend Charles Oakley was a guest on the SiriusXM radio podcast to promote his new book, The Last Enforcer. He revealed that he expects LeBron to leave the Lakers and go elsewhere to win a championship during his appearance.
“He definitely wants to win a championship before he retires and might have to leave L.A. To get it,” said Oakley.
“He left twice… he’ll leave again. I don’t know if it’ll be Cleveland. It might be somewhere else.”
Per Brad Botkin of CBS Sports, Oakley shared a moment in his book where he talked about a time during the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend when he was with LeBron and Rich Paul before being introduced to Dolan for the first time. Dolan reportedly refused to shake Oakley’s hand and didn’t even look at the long-time Knicks player.
“You would have thought I did something to his wife,” Oakley wrote in the book.
“I walked back to LeBron and said, ‘This mother–ker (Dolan) wouldn’t shake my hand,'” Oakley added. “All LeBron said was: ‘This is why I’m never going to New York.'”
Oakley’s statement about the possibility of LeBron Jame leaving the Los Angeles Lakers makes sense. He has only two more seasons under contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent, according to spotrac.com. In addition, James is owed $85,655,532 over the next two seasons.
“It makes sense on many levels to assume that LeBron will spend the remainder of this season and all of next season with the Lakers so that he can be close to his son all the way through high school,” says Chris Sheridan of Maxim Bet.
“But after June of 2023 has come and gone (and James’ current contract with the Lakers will have expired), there could be a new destination on James’ landscape… provided he has not already switched teams prior to that in order to increase his chances of winning another title.”
Maxim Bet has the Cavaliers (+300) of landing James, followed by the Miami Heat [+400] and Dallas Mavericks [+500].
This season for the Lakers, LeBron averages 29.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 52.2 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from beyond the arc. However, he has dealt with numerous injuries that have contributed to the Lakers having a 26-28 and currently sitting ninth in the Western Conference with 28 games to go in the regular season. Therefore, if the playoffs started today, they would have to play their way into the seventh or eighth seed.
According to Sheridan, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst shared with him, “LeBron likes L.A., he likes raising his family in L.A., and his post-career businesses are in L.A. But he’s made it very clear that he wants to play with his son. If that situation is available outside L.A., he’ll pursue it.”
The elder James has been very vocal about playing in the NBA with his son Bronny James.
“I want him to get to the NBA,” James said. “I’m not even gonna lie.”
“I want to be on the court with him,” he added. “I think that would an unbelievable moment.”
Bronny is scheduled to graduate from high school in 2023 and is currently attending Sierra Canyon High School in Los Angeles. He is now a junior, but there have been some rumblings that he doesn’t want to finish his high school career at Sierra Canyon.
I was also told by a source that, “He’s trying to be like his dad for real, St. Vincent-St. Mary could be an option.”
If LeBron elected to go back to Cleveland to play for the Cavs, why not have his son enroll at his high school alma mater and play for his former coach, Dru Joyce II., under coach Joyce’s leadership? He won back-to-back state championships in 2002 and 2003.
Recently, a report was written by 247Sports’ Eric Bossi, suggesting that Bronny James is recruited by four colleges, namely Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, and North Carolina.
“He’s still basically off-limits to the media and hasn’t put out a school list, but some of the teams that he is believed to have interest in include Duke, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Texas, among others,” Bossi writes.
The elder James and the Los Angeles Lakers host the Milwaukee Bucks at 10 pm EST.