With LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers getting ready for a date with the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, the superstar admitted that the thought of playing for the Knicks has crossed his mind.
“James, who flirted with joining the Knicks in 2010 — ‘I’ve had that thought in my career,’ he said Saturday — hasn’t faced this good of home team at MSG in more than a decade,” wrote Stefan Bondy of the New York Post.
The NBA trade deadline is approaching quickly, so every word James utters is listened to a little bit more carefully. After James cryptically tweeted an hourglass emoji following a loss earlier this week, ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith strongly advocated for James to consider a trade to the Knicks. Agent Rich Paul also reportedly has “hashed out” some things regarding his own relationship with the New York franchise.
Something could be up with James as the 39-year-old tries to find a way to remain competitive while seeking his fifth NBA championship. Some of his latest comments about his player option for next season may be drawing his future with the Lakers into question.
Though Paul recently said that James will not be traded nor is he asking to be, a local Los Angeles sports anchor reported that the Lakers have put out feelers regarding a possible deal for him.
This all comes as the team continues to fail to gain any significant ground or build any sustained momentum this season. They are entering the game Saturday with a 25-25 record that has them in ninth place in the Western Conference.
Meanwhile, the Knicks are playing some of their best basketball in years and have climbed into third place in the Eastern Conference with a nine-game winning streak and a 32-17 mark. With Jalen Brunson having a breakout season as a first-time NBA All-Star, New York may be emerging as a stronger contender for the championship than Los Angeles is.
Perhaps actually winding up with the Knicks this time — if James does decide it’s time to move on again — could satisfy both sides’ quest for another elusive NBA title.