LeBron’s decision: Kyrie, Lakers, Bronny…

There is an unavoidable fact both in life and in sport: that everything ends. It doesn’t matter the feeling of eternity that any type of record has, for better or worse. It is a story imposed by logic. Part of the way is the end. Of course, there are times, even if they are few, that you can choose how to live this process, understanding this as belonging to the always short lineage of titans who can afford such a thing. In those is LeBron James. The king threatened to withdraw after the elimination of the Lakers against the Nuggets, a series that those from Colorado resolved by fast track (4-0) and defending, in the last play of the fourth round, a penetration of the star. It couldn’t be: the Los Angeles revolution ended and leaves a bittersweet feeling to a season in which they started 2-10, danced in 13th place in the West for many weeks, reached the All Star break 27-32 and ended up reaching the finals of Conference after finishing seventh and resolving the play in against the Wolves. Then grizzlies fell and warriorsthe latter after six wonderful games in which an era closed. But the road ended, the flight crashed into the roof and it was over. there was no ring. And that, as much fun as the Lakers have been this season, is what counts.

Now, LeBron has to decide. 9 days have passed since he uttered those strange words at a press conference in which he questioned his continuity and he did not appear the following day before the press at the end of the season and the typical cabals about the future. In principle, the feeling is that it will continue, for various reasons. But the final verdict nobody knows. It’s a new The Decision13 years after an earthquake shook the NBA with the announcement of his march from Ohio to Florida to change the Cavs jersey for that of the Heat. This time, yes, there will not be too much criticism of his person as happened then, in what was a terrible image management by the player’s environment and the journalist Jim Gray, from ESPN. He is no longer public enemy number 1, he has reconciled with public opinion and is by his own right and deservedly one of the best players in history. His fight against logic and time have turned him into an eternal being. A sensation, it must be insisted, unreal: after all, everything ends.

The Lakers enter a maelstrom of decision-making always pending what LeBron decides. The bet for Darvin Ham has been positive, Anthony Davis has a contract and now they will have to think about how they surround him. They are going to have to spend, everything points to it, almost 100 million in Austin Reaves, the new hero of the fans. And they don’t have the salary margin to get another star without paying a huge amount of money in luxury tax. All of this, while the foundations of the new agreement are beginning to be laid, which will gradually enter into force and be fully and fully certified as of 2025. The Lakers have to play with all of this while they wait to find out what the decision is of a LeBron that continues to be competitive, but not like before, and that regardless of whether it will continue or not, He also has to see if he goes through the operating room to operate on that right ankle injury that has diminished him during the playoffs but has not prevented him from continuing to be solid.. Another example of resilience from that celestial being who, retiring or not, does seem to be giving his last throes in the NBA.

the balance of truth

There are several points to consider in LeBron’s decision. The first of all is obvious: He is 38 years old and has spent 20 seasons in the NBA, a lifetime with which more than one has already put an end to his career. What’s more, only 10 players in history have played 20 or more campaigns. LeBron, if he continues, would join four other players who have reached No. 21 in that stat. Alone follows Vince Carter, who reached 22 for a total of 1,541 games. The king, in two courses less, it already has 1,421. The top in that data is Robert Parish, who reached 1,611. If he wishes, LeBron could reach both records, for which he would have to play three more years, with more than 60 games in each of them.. Something that again escapes logic but seems possible, as long as he postpones his threat of withdrawal and makes it effective later.

There is incentive for LeBron to play until at least 2025. Two, actually: one is that he has a contract until 2025 if he exercises the player option that he will have in 2024, something that would allow him to pocket the more than 97 million that he agreed with the Lakers last summer. A figure that joins the other argument: playing with his son Bronny, something that has already been raised on more than one occasion and that responds to the wishes of the player. Bronny would make it to the NBA in the 2024 draft, a year from now, and his first full season as a professional would be in 2024-25. The times, therefore, fit for a historical event, unusual in the NBA, with a father and a son playing together. And we’ll see if in the same team, something that if it is a condition for James could lead him to another franchise in which his firstborn wasthus giving up the 2024 player option, something that he intelligently negotiated at the time in case this situation occurred.

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The farewell, with Kyrie on the horizon

These are not the only reasons that suggest that LeBron will continue. It is very difficult not to imagine an announcement prior to the outcome at the beginning of a basketball course. A “this will be my last season”, before it begins. A hypothetical farewell tour of the King it would be something magical, unique, mystical, poetic. Even bigger than those experienced in the past by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Kobe Bryant, who received standing ovations and well-deserved tributes during campaigns that were already known to be their last. One last All Star (he has 18, the same as Kobe and one for Kareem, another record) with thunderous applause is necessary, like a last game in Akron, Ohio, with or against some Cavaliers he put on the map, giving the biggest prize (in 2016) to the smallest market. It would be cruel for the viewer not to have the opportunity to say goodbye to one of the greatest, not only in the history of basketball, but in the history of sports.

In all this core, the reviled figure of Kyrie Irving emerges again. There have been many rumors that placed the point guard on the Lakers’ radar and LeBron’s announcement may be a method of pressure so that they go after him. Kyrie has not been the same since he left the Cavs in the summer of 2017 to escape the long shadow of his then-teammate, leaving corpses along the way and becoming one himself. His non-sports problems (opposition to vaccines, anti-Semitic promotions…) have wreaked havoc in the NBA and his sporting level has gone from questionable to truly poor. He’s a free agent, he’s going to ask for a lot of money, Nobody knows if he will continue to be linked to Doncic’s Mavericks (with whom he has closed a very poor season for the Texan team) and it gives many problems while providing few solutions. The possibility of him playing against LeBron again is minimal because of how financially compromised the Lakers are. But, if there was such an option, would it be a solution?

A historic decision

LeBron James will turn 39 on December 30. He has been in the NBA for 20 seasons, has played in 10 Finals and has won 4 rings. He has 18 All Stars, 4 MVPs, as many in the Finals, two Olympic golds, 19 inclusions in the Best Quintets (an absolute record, with 13 also in the first) and an infinity of prizes and awards that do not fit in a single article. His 8 consecutive Finals (from 2011 to 2018) make him someone unique, similar to the 11 rings in 13 years achieved by Bill Russell’s historic (and prehistoric) Celtics. In that case, the team was the dynasty. In LeBron’s, he is the dynasty. A King who has not reigned since 2020, but whose crown shines perpetually in his career. In addition to all this, he is the Top Scorer in NBA history, something he achieved after beating Kareem and pounding the door that gives access to the top of Olympus. Along with the legendary center and Michael Jordan, he is also one of the three best players, without debate, of all time.. A throne that seemed no one was going to take away from His Airness and that it is now more questioned than ever.

Everything indicates that it will continue. But he has every right not to. The homework is done, he has fully complied. He has played basketball like nobody else, improving his jump shot, daring in the triple, having all the weapons that someone can have. The most complete version of his career, adding his most incredible defensive version to all his weapons, was in 2012-13, where he won the MVP and came second in the Best Defender award, which Marc Gasol snatched from him.. Their 2018 playoffs are part of the annals. And the constant displays of him in the finals have been the bread of the day, a typical turned typical that has allowed the NBA to boast a generational star and, at the same time, the most captivating game on the planet.

LeBron can do whatever he wants. Retire how he wants, when he wants. He has earned it. And let no one forget: he has averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists in his 20th season in the best league in the world and in the last game in the playoffs he reached 40 points. With less time on the ball than ever, he has remained competitive and continues to drive to the basket with unusual ease. Now, it remains to be seen if he will continue to be active. And, if so, if he can opt for one last ring before saying goodbye. In any case, it doesn’t matter if it isn’t: he doesn’t owe anyone anything. In any case, it would be the other way around. It is an immeasurable legend that continues, until the news is otherwise, active. And we have no choice but to enjoy every drop of sweat that he continues to shed in an NBA that is impossible to understand without his eternal figure.. Everything ends. But the longer it takes for the LeBron James story to finish, the better for everyone. Definitely.

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