LeBron James: ‘Of Course’ Lakers Can Win Another NBA Title Before I Retire
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LeBron James: ‘Of Course’ Lakers Can Win Another NBA Title Before I Retire

LeBron James is confident he can win another title with the Los Angeles Lakers before his retirement from the NBA.

“Of course,” James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin when asked if he believed he could win again with the Lakers.

When McMenamin asked him what gave him that confidence, James answered, “‘Cause we’ve done it before.”

The Lakers emerged victorious from the NBA Bubble in 2020 as James and Anthony Davis led the franchise to its first championship in a decade.

Los Angeles has not been able to repeat that success since. The Lakers reached the 2023 conference finals before getting swept by the Denver Nuggets on their way to the title, then lost against to the Nuggets in five games of last postseason’s first round.

But James believes the fact that the Lakers have retained himself and Davis since then means the team will still be a contender.

“We still have two guys who commit every single day, myself and AD. We commit to excellence,” James said.

James continued: “We’re not that far off. We were one year removed from the Western Conference Finals. This past year didn’t go as well as we would like, but we’re not that far off.

“And there’s so many teams in the league, so many great teams in the league, in the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference, but we don’t see that we’re that far off anyone else.”

McMenamin previously reported, after James turned down his $51.4 million player option to rejoin the Lakers for the 2024-25 season, that James’ agent said his client would consider a pay cut that allowed the franchise its full mid-level exemption if the team was able to add an “impact player.”

Candidates for this impact player, who could potentially create a “Big Three” for the Lakers alongside James and Davis, included James Harden, Klay Thompson or Jonas Valančiūnas, McMenamin reported.

With all three players now set on different teams, James instead inked a two-year, $101.35 deal with the Lakers, approximately $3 million below the $104 million maximum he could have signed for that term.

That amount will not allow the Lakers the $12.8 million midlevel exception, but does keep the team just below the restrictive second salary apron (h/t ESPN’s Bobby Marks) and avoids even harsher free agent and trade restrictions. James could be hoping that will allow Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office enough flexibility to build another contender in his seventh season with the team.