LeBron James signed his contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers early in a show of confidence in the franchise’s ability to turn things around soon.
James became contract eligible on Aug. 4 and put pen to paper a couple of weeks later, with Lakers president Jeanie Buss saying the deal will give her team “an opportunity to contend” again.
It also puts some pressure on the front office as the four-time NBA champion sought assurances over L.A.’s competitiveness in the near future before signing the extension — and was reportedly promised the Purple and Gold would allow him to fight for another championship.
Despite the 37-year-old’s expectations, Buss told The Athletic’s Sam Amick keeping James was a priority for the Lakers — and that she wants him to don Purple and Gold for the rest of his career:
“It is a big vote of confidence when LeBron James signs a two-year extension, when he had many months to do so (he had until June 30, 2023, to sign this deal). And you know, it was a priority to us. It’s a priority to the Laker brand that he retire a Laker. We’ll probably enjoy watching him as he approaches becoming the all-time leading scorer in history.”
James already has scored more career and playoff points than the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. But he still trails Abdul-Jabbar by 1,325 points to match the Lakers great’s record 38,387 regular-season tally.
The Purple and Gold will likely witness James passing Abdul-Jabbar this season. Even if he was to score only 22.1 points per game in 2022-23 — which would be James’ lowest average since his rookie season — the 18-time All-Star would become the all-time leading scorer in 60 games — which should be in his range even considering his recent injury history.
James makes Sports Illustrated cover with sons Bryce & Bronny
James could soon add an accolade no NBA legend has ever achieved, becoming the first father to play in the league with his son.
Sierra Canyon guard Bronny James will become eligible for the NBA Draft in two years — with James publicly saying he wants to share the locker room with his eldest child for at least one season. The Lakers All-Star recently added he might even wait for Bryce, who’s two years younger than Bronny, to join them in the league.
LeBron, Bronny and Bryce all made the cover of Sports Illustrated recently, heralding the soon-coming James gang arrival.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!