ESPN: LeBron James Wants to Be a Laker 'Regardless of What He Said in Frustration'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2022

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 05: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers walks off the court following the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on April 05, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Lakers 121-110. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Lakers' 2021-22 season may have been miserable, but LeBron James has no plans on going anywhere—at least for now.

"LeBron wants to be a Laker," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on First Take (1:38 mark). "Regardless of what he may have said in moments of frustration last year, regardless of his concept of playing with his son, or someday retiring a Cavalier, LeBron wants to be a Laker. He wants to live in Los Angeles. He loves living in Los Angeles. ... He still believes he can take the Lakers to heights. He wants to be a Laker."

The Lakers can offer James a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension in August. That would tie him to the organization through his age-40 season, at which point his son, Bronny, could also be in the NBA. Bronny James is not eligible until the 2024 draft; the two-year extension would take LeBron through the 2024-25 season.

It's possible James takes a one-year extension to line himself up with Bronny's potential NBA arrival, but all options are likely on the table at this point.

As brilliant as James remains, the end of his career is near. He's missed 25-plus games in three of his four Lakers seasons. The team's attempt to ease James into the twilight of his career hasn't gone particularly well, either, thanks in large part to Anthony Davis' inability to stay healthy and Russell Westbrook's failure to coalesce with the roster.

By the start of next season, James will have played longer as a Laker than he did as a member of the Miami Heat. This will be the first time he's stayed in a location longer than four years since his initial run in Cleveland.

Whether it's a lifestyle choice or a basketball one, James clearly loves being in Los Angles and he has the stroke to stay there as long as he wants.