Of the many questions about LeBron James’ future, “Could LeBron ever play with his son?” is far from the most pressing. There are more immediate matters, such as, you know, “For whom will the best basketball player on earth be playing in four months?”
But as far as tantalizing NBA possibilities based on strings of hypotheticals go? A father-son partnership has to be pretty close to the top of the list. And among those enthused by it is the man himself.
Despite a LeBron-LeBron Jr. NBA duo being at least five years away from feasibility, the Cavs star didn’t shy away from entertaining the possibility when it was raised by a reporter before Sunday’s game agains the Lakers.
Here’s the exchange, roughly, captured on video by ESPN:
Reporter: In six years, what if you and your son could play in the league together? Are you going to [stay in the league] that long?
James: If he has a chance, and it seems like he can make it? Got to.
Reporter: Gotta do the Griffeys
James: Oh, you gotta do ’em.
Reporter: Same team.
James: Absolutely. And as soon as we do it, boom – go ahead, son, you got it from here.
James is currently 33. His oldest son, LeBron James Jr., is 13. LeBron Jr. is therefore a long way away from the NBA, even if he does already have scholarship offers from Duke and Kentucky. As James said of his son to ESPN, “He got a chance. He got a chance. If he stays where he at right now, along this path, he got a chance.” But hundreds of kids on similar paths at 13 have a chance and don’t ultimately make it.
That said, LeBron Jr. certainly has the genes to make it. And if he does?
There are so many hypotheticals standing in the way of a James father-son combo. Father, to team up with son, would likely have to play until at least the age of 39. And that’s if LeBron Jr. were to jump to the pros at the earliest possible moment (pending possible revisions to the one-and-done rule).
James would also have to ensure he were a free agent the summer his son came into the league, and could potentially have to be willing to take a paycut to sign with wichever team drafted or signed LeBron Jr. (Side note: This would add levels to James’ free agency, and to LeBron Jr.’s draft stock.)
Or maybe James would settle for playing against his son? He told GQ last year:
“I don’t know if I could play washed, but I damn sure would love to stick around if my oldest son can have an opportunity to play against me. That’d be, that’d be the icing on the cake right there.”
Anyway, we’re probably getting a bit ahead of ourselves, just like anybody fantasizing about this is. But James certainly isn’t shutting down those fantasies.
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