LeBron James Thinks There Will Be An NBA Season Later This Year
Deron Williams is going to play basketball in Turkey this fall. Kobe Bryant is considering it, too. And Kevin Durant is still 50/50—but he’s at least left open the possibility of playing in Europe if the NBA lockout forces the league to cancel all or part of the 2011-12 NBA season.
But, LeBron James? Well, you can count him out. He recently revealed that he will not playing ball overseas later this year—and reiterated the fact that he believes that the NBA will have a season next year. “I’m optimistic that we will have a season this year,” James told ESPN. “Very optimistic.”
It’s a telling revelation. If nothing else, LBJ is effectively saying that he will not be the latest player heading overseas to play ball next season. Unlike Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony, King James isn’t even considering the option of playing overseas. Instead, he’s focused on becoming a better player and working towards helping the Miami Heat avenge their 2011 NBA Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks. “Right now, I’ve just been focusing on being a better player,” James said, “working on my game every single day. Like I said, the Dallas Mavericks were a great team and they deserved to win that championship. And I’ll just use that as motivation coming into this season.”
All of that sounds like a good idea—and regardless of whether you’re a Bron-Bron lover or hater, it sounds like what he should be saying right now—but is LeBron saying what he should be saying right now? All of his other fellow NBA players seem poised to at least act like they’re going to play overseas next season, if for no other reason than to scare the NBA owners straight and force them to negotiate better terms for a new collective bargaining agreement to end the lockout. But, as it stands now, it seems like James has decided that playing overseas isn’t even a remote possibility.
“I’m preparing for an NBA season,” he said. “I’m preparing for there to be a training camp in the next month. I’m very optimistic that Billy Hunter and the owners and David Stern will figure out a way to come together and for us to have a season. And I’ll be ready for it.”
So, there you have it. LeBron James is going to play in the NBA next season—or he’s not going to play at all. He’s not going to take his talents to Turkey or Greece or any of the other places that would no doubt welcome his talents. He’s not going to even try to act like he’d do it, either. He’s content with simply waiting the lockout out, working on his game, and praying that the 2011-12 NBA season happens.
It might be wishful thinking, but at least we know where he stands. Now, we just hope that a few other players take the opposite stance so that LeBron’s wishes for a 2011-12 season come true. Because the way things look now, it’s going to take a few high-profile names like James going overseas to get NBA owners to budge. Here’s to hoping that a few of them do it.