Time may not have caught up with LeBron James yet, but the possibility has been on the Lakers superstar’s mind during the NBA’s prolonged hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a media conference call with on Wednesday, James admitted that if the NBA season is canceled without the Lakers getting a chance to compete for a title, he doesn’t know if he “will be able to have any closure.”
The adjustment to life in mid-spring without basketball has clearly affected James, whose circadian rhythms are likely fine-tuned to the NBA calendar like few in the league. It appeared, prior to the league pressing pause on March 11, that James and his Lakers teammates were rounding into form and entrenching themselves as one of the favorites for the NBA championship.
That fact has led James to seesaw between stances, saying multiple times that he would not be open to playing games without fans in the building before changing his tune. James repeatedly called the pandemic a roadblock for citizens of the world, and according to Brett Dawson of The Athletic, stressed the importance of safety above all else.
Many saw the next two seasons as James’ best chances to lead a team to a title, with contract uncertainty for both he and Anthony Davis after the 2020-21 season. Of course, no one can surmise the future, and James’ vice grip on the playoffs isn’t as strong as it once was. Peaking in April and May is the goal for any team with championship aspirations, and it’s precisely what James and the Lakers were doing.
“Time waits for no man,” James said on the call. Though the consensus among those within the league seems to be that they will not play until it is safe to do so, James more than anyone has reason to be urgent.