Next summer’s free agent class, headed by LeBron James, will be the most dominant (and nauseating) storyline of the 2013-’14 NBA season.
James continues to expertly dodge questions regarding his future, but hints that his preference would be to remain a member of the back-to-back defending champion Miami Heat until he retires.
The reigning MVP, however, is keeping his cards very close to the vest.
“I have absolutely no idea,” James recently said. “I would love to spend the rest of my career in Miami with this great team and great organization as we continue to compete for championships. That’s ideal. But we don’t know what may happen from now to the end of the season. That’s the nature of the business. It’s the nature of not knowing what tomorrow brings.”
“I mean, as a kid, I never thought the Bulls would break up. Never. If you’d of told me as a kid that [Michael] Jordan and [Scottie] Pippen wouldn’t play together for the rest of their lives, I’d have looked at you crazy. And Phil Jackson wouldn’t be the coach? I’d have looked at you crazy. But sometimes the nature of the business doesn’t allow things to happen like you would want them to. But we’ll see.”
Despite the contract situations of LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh hanging over everything, Heat president Pat Riley wants to ensure that the focus remains solely on the chase for a three-peat:
“Our stance is the same we had with Wade in 2010, that we’re just going to play the season and not let that hang over our heads and become a distraction just because the media wants to get an answer on it every day,” Riley said. “I don’t know LeBron’s stance. He’ll probably say one time, ‘I’ll talk about it next year.’ We haven’t discussed it yet, but we will. I’ll tell him the main thing is to make sure the main thing remains the main thing. And the main thing is to win the championship.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be South Beach’s biggest competitors for James’ services in 2014, but both would have to be considered serious underdogs at this point.
Then again, as LeBron said so himself, you can never quite know what tomorrow may bring.