“The door’s not closed on that,” James told The Athletic. “I’m not saying I’m coming back and playing, I don’t know. I don’t know what my future holds. I don’t even know when I’m free.”
During his last tenure with the Cavaliers, The Chosen One finally delivered on his promise to lead the Cavs to a championship after leading the franchise to a title in 2016, famously climbing back from a 3-1 hole to upset the 73-9 Golden State Warriors in seven games, the first such comeback in League history.
If he were to return for the third time, he’d be joining a young team that, barring an epic collapse, would be making their first playoff appearance since he left Cleveland to join the Lakers in 2018. Playing with an exciting core of Darius Garland, Caris LeVert, and Evan Mobley Bron will be a free agent after the conclusion of the 2022-2023 season.
“I think Koby and those guys have done an unbelievable job drafting and making trades,” James said. “I think big fella (Allen), that acquisition was amazing for them to make that trade. Obviously, Darius Garland is a big-time player. And I think the role that Kevin (Love) is playing right now has kind of uplifted those young guys, seeing a veteran that could sacrifice, a champion that’s won a championship, all the things that he’s done, to come off the bench and play this role. I am not surprised by anything that they’re doing right now.”
The King has averaged 29.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game in his third season with the Lakers (27-31) and 19th overall season. As a Cavalier, James won two MVPs, won a scoring title, made six All-Star teams with three All-Star Game MVPs, was named to 10 All-NBA teams, and made two All-Defensive teams.