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Lakers Rumors: LeBron James Wants to Finish Career in LA Despite Comments on Losing

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 11, 2023

SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 7: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket during the game against the Sacramento Kings on January 7, 2023 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

LeBron James has been sending not-so-coded messages to Los Angeles Lakers management that he wants an improved roster.

The team has done nothing to date.

That said, it appears James has no intention of forcing his way out of Los Angeles for now.

"I keep hearing he wants to stay with the Lakers. He wants to finish his career with the Lakers," ESPN's Zach Lowe said on the Lowe Post podcast. "His comments though should be interpreted as his patience is not infinite and if this is just a continued morass of losing, maybe that changes. But if you force me to bet, I'd still bet on him finishing his career with the Lakers. And I'd feel pretty confident in that."

The Lakers are a disappointing 19-22 but have won five of their last six games as Anthony Davis prepares to return from a foot injury. James has been sensational on an individual level since turning 38 on Dec. 30, averaging 38.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.1 assists over the course of four games.

Still, a string of recent comments hint at James' displeasure with the state of the roster.

"Y'all know what the f--k should be happening," James told Sam Amick of The Athletic. "I don't need to talk."

While James attempted to clarify his comments on social media to say his patience "isn't waning," the 20-year NBA veteran is savvy enough to know how his words would be interpreted. He wants to win and feels the Lakers front office isn't doing enough to surround him and Davis with the right talent.

Ultimately, it remains unlikely James winds up actually forcing his way out of Los Angeles. He signed an extension this offseason despite the team failing to make it out of the first round each of the last two years. Those are not the actions of someone looking for an exit plan.

That said, LeBron is also legacy conscious enough to know competing on a team barely keeping its head above water isn't the way he wants to end his NBA career.