LeBron James is only going to talk about this moment, about the Heat’s chance to repeat. He is not going to get caught up in what might or might not happen two seasons from now.
Thursday the story leaked that the Lakers potentially will have cap space in 2014 to chase a max free agent, which happens to be the same year LeBron can opt out of his deal with the Heat. And for some NBA executives 1+1=2.
But asked about it Thursday night, LeBron wasn’t playing along. Before the game he dodged the question entirely, afterwards he was direct speaking with Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
“I’m here,” he said. “I’m preparing for the season. I’m preparing to defend our title. I understand it comes up because of who I am.”
“That story, I don’t know where it came from, but I understand why it came up because of who I am — it’s going to happen,” James told reporters after Miami’s first preseason home game. “But I’m not going to worry about it. I’ve got to continue to stay focused with these guys and make sure we’re ready for any challenges that come.”
From the “what else is he going to say?” file, we bring you LeBron’s answer.
Never say never in the NBA, but this is both unlikely and a couple NBA lifetimes from now.
The Lakers are doing what smart teams do — giving themselves options and opportunities in a couple years. They may not choose to go this direction, but they have options. This is the same kind of bold move Pat Riley made when he started clearing out cap space for the year LeBron became a free agent two years ago. You need to be bold and aggressive. What has made the Lakers dangerous the last three decades is they have been both smart and they have the advantages of a big market.
But two years from now, this whole idea may be silly. It’s impossible to say.
And all LeBron can say is he wants to live in the moment.