US basketball

LeBron James: ‘Hopefully’ career ends as member of Lakers


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LeBron James: ‘Hopefully’ career ends as member of Lakers

UP THERE. Western Conference forward LeBron James (23) of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball during the first half of the 73rd NBA All Star game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LeBron James says he is 'very happy' in Los Angeles even as the Lakers sit at ninth place in the Western Conference when the NBA reached its All-Star Weekend

In the wake of a head-turning report that the Golden State Warriors looked into acquiring him at the trade deadline, LeBron James said Sunday, February 18 (Monday, February 19, Manila time), that he hopes to finish his playing career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers sat in ninth place in the Western Conference at 30-26 when the NBA reached its All-Star Weekend. They have won one championship during James’ time with the team, and they reached the Western Conference finals last year, but it’s unclear how much longer they can be a contender.

James appeared less than pleased with the team when he posted an hourglass emoji to social media before the trade deadline. But before Sunday’s All-Star Game in Indianapolis, James said he is “very happy” in Los Angeles.

“I am a Laker and I’m happy and been very happy being a Laker the last six years, and hopefully it stays that way,” James said. “But I don’t have the answer to how long it is or which uniform I’ll be in. Hopefully (it) is with the Lakers. It’s a great organization, so many greats. But we’ll see.”

James also has a player option to stay with the Lakers next season. He could decline the option and become a free agent; he said earlier this month he has not made up his mind about what he will do.

As for the immediate future, James said he will not play the entire game in Indianapolis – which will mark his record-breaking 20th career All-Star Game – as he nurses a left ankle injury.

“The most important thing for me is definitely my health, where I’m at right now, where our team is leaning,” James said. “We’re trending in the right direction.

“Obviously, with our Laker team, it’s been about health all year. Trying to do what’s best for me for the betterment of the team.”

James also said he remains committed to playing for Team USA at the Olympic Games this summer in Paris.

“I told myself before the season when I committed to being a part of the Olympic team, obviously it was all predicated on my health,” he said. “As it stands right now, I am healthy enough to be on the team and perform at a level that I knew I could perform at.”

James has averaged 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.8 assists in 49 games this season, his 21st in the league. –

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