Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – LeBron James has been through it before, but Thursday, an article has once again made it time to speculate where the greatest player in the world would be playing in two years, even though he’s under contract.
It started when an article on ESPN.com posited that several key Los Angeles Lakers contracts will expire in two years, including that of Kobe Bryant, who is expected to retire at that point. The article speculates the Lakers will then need to begin to rebuild again and the attention it turned to LeBron.
The article speculates the Lakers will target LeBron in two years when he can opt out of his current contract with the Miami Heat. The article said LeBron will want a max deal when he can opt-out in two years and will likely make himself available as a free agent, but didn’t say he would necessarily leave the Heat.
LeBron wasn’t surprised at the report and tried to not let it bother him as the Heat took the court for their home preseason opener Thursday night.
“That story, I don’t know where it came from, but I understand why it came up because of who I am – it’s not going to happen,” James said, according to ESPN.com. “But I’m not going to worry about it. I’ve got to continue to stay focused with these guys and make sure we’re ready for any challenges that come.”
LeBron’s running mate, Dwyane Wade, was a little less diplomatic when it came to dealing with the speculation.
“They need to leave my teammate alone with that and go mess with somebody else,” Wade told the Palm Beach Post. “He’s gonna be here. We’re straight.”
The problem with the report is that no one knows what the NBA or even LeBron’s game will look like in two years. He’s already won a championship in Miami and is poised to win a second straight this year, so leaving the town where he’s built his legacy may not be in his plans.