During an interview on the “SmartLess” podcast (co-hosted by actors Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes) released on Monday, LeBron was asked about his basketball future and his feelings on playing for the Lakers.
“I mean, listen: I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers,” James said. “And how many years that is — if it's 4, 5, 6, whatever, 7 — I hope that I can continue to play the game. I love being in L.A., my family loves being in L.A.
Being with a historical franchise like the Lakers is something like — it's like me being in Space Jam now: I never thought it'd be possible. You think about Kareem and Magic and Wilt and Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, Kobe, Shaq, the whole list goes on…”
In Dec. 2020, James signed a two-year, $85 million extension that will contractually tie him to L.A. through the 2022-23 season. He signed a four-year, $153.3 million deal with the Lakers in 2018.
With his son, Bronny, two years away from NBA Draft eligibility, many have speculated that LeBron may attempt to team up with his son (should he go pro) to close out his illustrious career. (On “SmartLess,” James mentioned Ken Griffey Jr. — who famously slugged alongside his dad for the Seattle Mariners in 1990 — as one of his childhood inspirations). However, James doesn't seem intent on changing teams for the fourth time.
LeBron — who has clearly enjoyed the L.A. lifestyle since arriving and has repeatedly stated his appreciation for Lakers lore — told the SmartLess guys that he would consider devoting more time to acting and entertainment following his playing career. He and Maverick Carter's entertainment outlet, The Springhill Company, has become an increasingly prolific force in Hollywood.
LeBron also says would he consider diving more into acting after his NBA career (a la The Rock), that he loves Beethoven and Mozart, and his 2019 groin injury felt like "his balls were ripping off."
— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) July 12, 2021
For now, Lakers fans can rest easy: The King doesn't seem to be taking his talents anywhere else. Considering he was playing MVP-caliber basketball before spraining his ankle in March, his talents don't seem to be leaving him anytime soon, either.
Of course, LeBron has previously uttered grand declarations involving a “4-5-6-7” year timeline that didn't go exactly as planned.