Damian Lillard: LeBron James Has 'a Future as a GM ... He Always Gets It Right'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2021

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

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.  


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