As hope around the NBA grows that LeBron James will consider leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent in 2018, one team can apparently remove itself from the running.
And it’s the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Undefeated’s Mike Wise recently made an appearance on ESPN Radio’s Freddie and Fitz show, at which time he indicated there’s no chance the four-time MVP will ever don a Clippers uniform:
“I got from a very good authority—a very good authority—that LeBron James will never be a Clipper,” Wise said. “I can’t tell you who, but I’m going to tell you it’s somebody that knows, and LeBron James will never be a Clipper. I don’t know if that’s because he remembers what the Clippers used to be, or he just doesn’t want to put his lot in there, or he thinks [owner] Steve Ballmer is just too animated on the sideline.”
This actually matters. Los Angeles is commonly cited as LeBron’s next destination, because he has a home there, spends much of the offseason there and has Hollywood aspirations. Playing in LA would allow him to more seamlessly transition into his post-career exploits.
Which is to say: Consider this spectacular news for the Los Angeles Lakers. They’re the only other game in town, so if James isn’t high on the Clippers, it leaves him to sync up with Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, probably Paul George and whoever else the Lakers have on the roster after next season.
Granted, this is the pipe dream of pipe dreams. If LeBron does leave Cleveland, he might not have Los Angeles atop his list. Maybe he’ll look at the San Antonio Spurs. Or a Banana Boat formation with the Miami Heat. Still: For as long as the odds are, every little bit counts. And at least the Lakers now know they’ve (likely) usurped the Clippers on LeBron’s list of potential destinations next summer.