LeBron James had been in the midst of a Most Valuable Player-caliber year before the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
More importantly, James and Anthony Davis had fit the billing as one of the most formidable duos in the league after leading the Los Angeles Lakers to the top spot in the Western Conference with a 49-14 record. The team had seemingly reached a turning point heading into the final stretch and were ready to shift gears towards a deep 2020 NBA playoff run.
Unfortunately, the unexpected hiatus has left players in a state of limbo between maintaining playing shape and an early offseason. While James has acknowledged the physical aspect of the basketball withdrawals, it appears there is another sense of uneasiness starting to set in.
According to Melissa Rohlin of Sports Illustrated, James admits there will would undoubtedly be a sense of unfinished business:
“I don’t think I’ll be able to have any closure if we do not have an opportunity to finish this season,” James said. “I will have some satisfaction, like I said, on just being with my brothers, being with my guys, thinking about some of the road trips that we had. Thinking about some of the games that we lost, thinking about some of the games that we won, some of the games that we overcame. And then everything that we’ve been going through this season, just the ups and downs—not only on the floor, but also off the floor. Everything that we’ve had to endure as the Laker faithful and us as players and the coaching staff and the organization, it’s been so much. So, closure? No. But to be proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish to this point, I’ll be able to look back and be like, ‘OK, we did something special in that small period of time.’”
James’ comments are certainly understandable considering the tremendous strides the Lakers made as a team. It is even more impressive considering the trials and tribulations they had endured to get to this point.
James had good reason to be confident that Los Angeles was fully prepared for a potential 2020 NBA Finals run and a chance to start another impressive chapter in his illustrious career. Although the 35 year old has done a tremendous job of defying the laws of Father Time at this point, there are only so many elite seasons he has left in the tank.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has indicated that a decision on the season’s fate may not be decided until some point in early May. Meanwhile, reports suggest the league is already preparing for the possibility of cancelling it altogether.