Lakers superstar LeBron James has been the face of the NBA for the better part of the last two decades and is happy to continue in that unofficial role until he retires, as Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports writes.
“I’ve held that title of ambassador,” James said. “Nobody told me to do it, but I felt like if I wasn’t gonna do it, who was gonna do it? So I took that responsibility, and I’ll continue to do it till I’m done playing the game.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver tells Goodwill that he’s “not prepared to talk about the post-LeBron era” yet, since James is still playing at an All-NBA level and presumably has multiple strong seasons left in him. However, he’s not worried about having to prepare for a leadership void among the game’s superstars.
“At some point, a new player or players will emerge, I think, [to] take that leadership mantle in the league. It seems they always do,” Silver said. “I’m just not prepared, even in the slightest, to start thinking about the league without LeBron, because he continues to be as committed as ever to the competition, to the league overall.”
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Danny Leroux of The Athletic takes a look ahead at the 2022 offseason, identifying the teams that project to have the most cap flexibility. As Leroux outlines, the Pistons and Magic remain the best bets to create significant cap room, while teams like the Spurs, Trail Blazers, Pacers, and Grizzlies could potentially join them, but have more variance.
- Veteran big man Thon Maker spoke to Alec Strum of NetsDaily about his role with the Long Island Nets – Brooklyn’s G League affiliate – and his efforts to make it back to the NBA. Maker has played a limited role in Long Island so far, averaging 5.8 PPG and 5.1 RPG in 15 games (17.4 MPG), with a dismal .360 FG% (.133 3PT%).
- Mike Schmitz of ESPN (Insider link) updated his NBA rookie power rankings over the All-Star break, providing best-case comps for Evan Mobley (Anthony Davis), Cade Cunningham (Luka Doncic), Scottie Barnes (Scottie Pippen), and other standout rookies.