Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | With the 2020-21 NBA season set to explode onto your screens in just a few days, one of the biggest pieces of news coming out of the league has been LeBron James signing a two-year, $85million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 35-year-old insists that the money and chance to play late into his 30’s are not the best parts about his new deal with the franchise. Rather, it is the way the deal aligns his future with that of his son, 16-year-old LeBron James Jr.
“The best thing about it is the year I’ll be a free agent will be the same year my oldest son graduates high school.” James told reporters. “So I’ll have some options to see, for me personally, what I want to do forward, being around my family, being around my son more or continue to play this game I love with great health and great spirits. Well James’ son, also known as Bronny, currently attends Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, California. A 6-foot-2 guard, he is regarded as an incredibly talented prospect – little wonder, given his father is one of the game’s all-time greats!
James, who will be 38 when the extension expires, would not speculate on how long he might play beyond the 2022-23 season. “I don’t look too far into the future as far as myself,” James said. “I just give the game as much as I can in the time being and see what happens. I’ve been blessed to be a part of 18 straight training camps, and I’ll never take that for granted.”
In the meantime, James will hope to lead the Lakers to a repeat championship – something he has achieved just once in his career, winning the title with the Miami Heat in 2013 after breaking through for the first championship of his career in 2012.
“I guess the bull’s-eye just becomes even greater, if that’s even possible,” James said when asked about the challenge of repeating. “For me personally, the bull’s-eye has always been on my back – or my front – since I entered the league. You add in the Laker name on top of that, the Lakers franchise, the bull’s-eye has been on this franchise for a long time as well.”
The 2020-21 NBA season is just around the corner! Watch live coverage of the opening matches of the regular season on ESPN 2, with a quintet of games running from Friday 25 into Saturday 26 December: New Orleans v Miami, Golden State v Milwaukee, Brooklyn v Boston, Dallas v LA Lakers and LA Clippers v Denver (19:00, 21:30, 00:00, 03:00 and 05:30 respectively LIVE on ESPN 2).
NBA match broadcast details
Friday 25 December
19:00: NBA: New Orleans v Miami – LIVE on ESPN 2
21:30: NBA: Golden State v Milwaukee – LIVE on ESPN 2
Saturday 26 December
00:00: NBA: Brooklyn v Boston – LIVE on ESPN 2
03:00: NBA: Dallas v LA Lakers – LIVE on ESPN 2
05:30: NBA: LA Clippers v Denver – LIVE on ESPN 2