Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard said the Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James could probably make a seamless transition to an NBA front office based on his success as an All-Star captain.
Team LeBron's 170-150 victory over Team Durant in the 2021 All-Star Game on Sunday moved James to 4-0 since the format moved to captains picking their own rosters in 2018.
"Yeah, I think he's got a future as a GM because he always gets it right," Lillard told reporters afterward.
It's unclear whether James would be interested in that type of hands-on role in building an NBA roster.
In February 2019, the four-time league MVP told Joe Vardon of The Athletic he wants to "stay around the game of basketball" after his on-court retirement, but suggested ownership is the ultimate long-term goal.
"Ain't no maybe about it, I'm going to do that s--t," James said.
The 36-year-old Ohio native is one of the most well-known athletes in the world, and he'll likely have numerous opportunities beyond basketball after he retires in addition to his family life with three kids, including 16-year-old Bronny, who's already trending toward his own career.
So being a general manager on the phone with other front offices, players' agents and members of his own organization every day might not fit in what figures to become a busy schedule. Ownership could give him the freedom to put other people in charge of the day-to-day operations while still having key input.
NBA legend Michael Jordan has paved a path in that direction as governor of the Charlotte Hornets.
That said, James would be a hot commodity if he ever expressed interest in a leading front-office role, either as a GM or a president of basketball operations thanks to his leaguewide connections and eye for talent.