A legitimate report surfaced yesterday that had the Lakers preparing to make a run at LeBron James when he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2014 season.
The report — from the beyond credible Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com — was not a rumor, and instead, was based in fact: multiple general managers around the league believed that’s what the Lakers have planeed, based on Kobe Bryant’s timetable for retirement, as well as the way the rest of the team’s players contracts are structured.
Understandably, Dwyane Wade is not interested in hearing where his all-world teammate might play two years from now, especially if it’s going to be somewhere other than Miami. He had this to say about it after the Heat’s preseason win over the Pistons on Thursday.
“They need to leave my teammate alone with that, and go mess with somebody else,” Wade said. “He’s gonna be here. We’re straight.”
Again, since the report was nowhere near rumor-mongering and wasn’t simply speculative, there’s no problem putting it out there. Still, 2014 is a relative eternity from now, and trying to guess which team the best player in the league will feel like playing with then is beyond impossible.
James knows the game by now, and took the high road by simply saying he’s not going to worry about it. Wade was being a little more protective with his comments, and given all that can happen between now and when LeBron’s next “decision” will need to be made, you can understand his annoyance at the conversation.