After 18 years in the NBA, it is normal for many to start wondering just how much longer Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James can play at the high level he has been. Two seasons ago, James finished second in NBA MVP voting, leading the Lakers to a championship. And before injuries undid his season this year, James again was among the favorites for the award once again.
The focus now for the Lakers is to return to that championship level, especially because James likely doesn’t have much time left as one of the truly elite players. Father Time eventually catches up to everyone and while LeBron has somehow eluded it longer than just about anyone, at some point he will begin to slow down.
But Lakers legend Magic Johnson doesn’t believe that is happening just yet. In an interview on KJZ on ESPN, Johnson said that he believes James has still has two years left at the highest level:
“I think, to me, he has two hard years. I’m talking about like, ‘listen we gotta get it done in these two years that I can still just be a man out here, dominating and playing great’. So the Lakers we gotta get some pieces around here for these two years because, I’ma tell you something, in another year KD, it’s gonna be his turn.”
Johnson certainly has a point in that players such as Kevin Durant have shown that they are ready to take the mantle from James, so the Lakers star will have to be outstanding to bring another championship back to Los Angeles. The Lakers have a short window to take advantage of LeBron being at this level which is why this offseason is so important to bring in the right pieces.
Most tend to believe that James has already earned a jersey hanging in the Staples Center rafters, but should he bring another championship to the organization, there will be questions about a potential statue outside the arena. Johnson also believes that will come eventually as well:
“I think he’s gonna end up winning one more and then get that statue. Now that’s up to Jeanie Buss where that statue is gonna be. One thing about the Buss family, they love when you come through for the Lakers and the Laker fans, and you’re a part of that organization, not only do you get rewarded with your jersey being retired but also your statue, but also you become a Laker for life.”
There are currently 10 statues outside of Staples Center with six belonging to Lakers legends. An 11th has already been announced to honor Los Angeles Sparks legend Lisa Leslie and there will undoubtedly be one to honor the late, great Kobe Bryan,t so the area is beginning to get crowded. But bringing in two championships to the franchise, combined with his standing amongst the all-time basketball greats could definitely be enough to see James immortalized here as well.
James has mixed emotions about Kidd becoming Mavericks head coach
If LeBron James does win one more ring with the Lakers it will be happening without one of his favorites on the bench. Assistant coach Jason Kidd has been hired as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks and James admitted to some mixed emotions about the announcement.
James stated that he hates losing Kidd on the coaching staff but was extremely happy for him to land another head coaching job that he has been very open about wanting again. Changes were expected on the Lakers this season from a personnel standpoint, but the coaching staff will now be different as well.
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