LeBron James, a forward with the Lakers, would undoubtedly rank among the game’s all-time greats if he decides to end his career today. No other player, including the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, played at this exceptional level in his career. James will undoubtedly break Abdul-scoring Jabbar’s record in the upcoming seasons.
Despite James’ excellence, the numbers for his new contract are completely down. At the end of the contract, James will get the greatest guaranteed salary in NBA history ($532 million), and he is about to begin his 20th season.
Los Angeles Time journalist Bill Plaschke well highlighted James’ numbers heading into the end of his career.
Bill Plaschke Slams James’ Extension
“A team that needs to build for the future remains stuck in the past, forgoing substance for sizzle, clinging to an aging star even as the sky is falling around them.”
It’s the time NBA fans have been fearing, similar to when the Lakers signed Kobe Bryant to his final contract. A two-year, $48 million agreement that Kobe was undoubtedly worth but that would leave the Lakers for the following seasons.
“It first assumes that James is still capable of leading a team to a full-season championship. The truth is that he is not. The extension also assumes that James will be healthy enough to be the full-time Lakers leader during the regular season. The painful reality is that he will not.”
Plaschke could be correct. This squad is meant to be managed by Anthony Davis, who is also susceptible to injuries. James once thought to be one of the top resilient players, has also been getting injured more frequently.
This might be an indication that the Lakers would eventually part ways with Russell Westbrook, as Plaschke pointed out. For the time being, Plaschke’s future with the Lakers looks troubling.