LeBron James Speaks Out on Retirement, Whether or Not He Wants to Finish with Los Angeles Lakers

by John Jamison

LeBron James left his native Ohio to the sound of jeers, taking his talents to South Beach. Then, he returned to Cleveland, gave them a championship, and was celebrated as a hero. Next, he took his talents to Hollywood, where he brought the Lakers back to the promised land and is now branching out into the movie industry.

The NBA veteran, considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time, is starring in and co-produced “Space Jam 2,” which is set to release on July 16. The movie is a lifelong dream about to be realized. That goes for LeBron James and Warner Brothers alike. The movie studio has long sought a second installment to create a franchise and revisit the success of the Michael Jordan-led original.

The appeal of the entertainment industry wouldn’t be as much of a factor if James was still in the earlier stages of his career. But James will be 38 by the time his contract is up. And coming off of yet another championship season, the question demands to be asked. When is the NBA superstar going to retire? Better yet, where does he want to end his illustrious career?

LeBron James and His Family are Happy in Los Angeles

Cleveland Cavaliers fans who’d hoped for yet another return of the King with a potential championship title on the side will be disappointed to hear the comments James made on the SmartLess podcast recently.

“I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers. And how many years that is, if it’s four, five, six, whatever, seven, I hope I can continue to play the game,” James said. “I love being in L.A., my family loves being in L.A. Being with a historical franchise like the Lakers is something like, it’s like me being in ‘Space Jam’ now. I never thought it’d be possible.”

The Long Journey to a ‘Space Jam’ Sequel

Ever since the Michael Jordan-led “Space Jam” premiered in 1996, Warner Brothers has been chomping at the bit to make a sequel. For years their efforts were focused on convincing Jordan to be the center of attention once again. But the NBA legend wanted no part of a second installment.

The storied studio played around with changing the sport and keeping the same premise for a sequel. But they ultimately vetoed those ideas. Without Michael Jordan to carry it, Warner Brothers resorted to making a Looney Tunes-centric comedy adventure film that some may remember. In 2003, “Back in Action” premiered in place of the film the studio originally wanted, another “Space Jam.”

Finally, more than 20 years later, Warner Brothers found what they were looking for in another NBA phenom. And to their delight, LeBron James wanted nothing more than to make the movie.

You can watch the trailer for “Space Jam: A New Legacy” below.