Coming off an extremely disappointing season for the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, many have begun to look at LeBron James’ tenure with the franchise and whether it is considered successful.
Of course, the fact that LeBron did bring the franchise’s 17th NBA championship would label it a success to most, but the Lakers have a first-round playoff exit and two seasons missing the playoffs entirely in his other three years.
This past season may have been James’ best as far as individual statistics go, especially considering he was in his 19th season and averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists. But LeBron made it clear that he is here to win championships and he is not satisfied yet.
“I came here to win a championship and I want to win more,” James said at his exit interview. “I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, but I’m still hungry for more. I’m confident that this organization wants the same. It’s what this organization has always been about. I also just wanted to change the narrative how this franchise can compete at a high level again. What they’ve done decade and decade and decades of winning.
“But yeah, when I signed here when Magic [Johnson] was here and Rob [Pelinka] was here, obviously and is still here. I told them I want to help this franchise become a champion again, so I’ve done that, we’ve done that, but I want to do it again.”
What separates the greats from everyone else is never being satisfied and it says a lot about LeBron that even though he has accomplished what he set out to do when he joined the Lakers, he still wants more. One championship is great, but James is looking for more, and individual success is not enough for him.
“Winning is everything to me. The fact that I was playing the way I was playing and it wasn’t resulting in wins wasn’t enough. The frustration level was definitely high at times because you’re just trying to figure out how you can be better and how the team can be better”
But the biggest question for LeBron moving forward is how much longer he can continue to play at this level. He will be entering his 20th season next year and has missed at least 26 games in three of his four seasons with the Lakers.
As far as keeping it up moving forward, James revealed he has no timeframe on how long he will continue to play, as long as he is still healthy and motivated.
“It’s up to my health, it’s up to my spirit, it’s up to my motivation,” LeBron added. “The great thing for me is I get an opportunity now to be around my boys and watch those guys for their AAU tournaments and their summer ball. That for the last five years has motivated me to come back watching them and watching their circus. I don’t have a cap on how long I want to play. I don’t want to say this or that. My wife doesn’t want to hear that as long as it’s in a certain amount of years, but I can still produce at a high level as I showed this year for sure.”
James discusses potential contract extension with Lakers
In continuing with the idea of continuing to play at this high level, James is entering the final year of his contract with the Lakers and the idea of an extension has been rumored, but he kept things pretty vague on that front.
“The conversation hasn’t been talked about and technically because the Collective Bargaining Agreement cannot be discussed until later on in the year,” LeBron said. “I know it’s out there, but we can’t even, myself and Rich [Paul] can’t even talk with Rob [Pelinka] or the front office at all because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. When we get to that point, we’ll see.”
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