When LeBron James goes pro, NBA fans are going to miss him
— When LeBron was a college student in Cleveland, he had to take care of the kids, too.
But now, after being selected No. 1 overall in the 1984 NBA draft, he has to find the time to do the same.
“I want to do it for my children, my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren, so I have to put a priority on that,” James said in a video posted on the NBA’s official website.
“But when it comes to my job, I don’t want to be around that.
I just want to keep it real.”
James said his son, Kasey, now lives in Oklahoma City, and he is preparing for his own retirement at age 34.
That’s the kind of thing James would have wanted to do for his children.
But he is a bit more circumspect about his future in the NBA.
The Cavaliers guard said he would be open to playing elsewhere in the league in the future if he feels he has an opportunity.
“If there is a team that I feel like I can help out with, I will be open for that, but right now I am focused on the Cavs,” James told the Associated Press.
“It’s my time.
I don`t really look at the future, or the league, or anything.
I look at basketball.”
James is a two-time MVP and four-time NBA champion.
He led the Cavs to three championships and won two NBA Finals titles, including a memorable showdown with the Lakers in 2009.
The NBA has a history of putting its best players on long contracts.
LeBron, who made $50 million this year, is set to make $90 million for the next five seasons.
“It`s an opportunity for me, to be a free agent for the first time,” James added.
“I`m going to play my whole career for Cleveland.
I think the fans are great.
I feel really, really good about the direction that the franchise is going.
So it`s not going to be hard for me to stay there.”
James, who will be 33 in 2020, has played well for the Cavaliers this season.
They have a record of 19-3 and are in second place in the Eastern Conference.
But James also played for three different teams during his time with the team, including the Lakers, Celtics and 76ers.
He is set for a one-year contract worth $40 million, with a player option for a second year.
James is not the only NBA star to talk about retiring.
The Los Angeles Clippers announced Friday that guard Jamal Crawford has agreed to a four-year deal with the franchise.
Crawford, who was waived by the Clippers last season, has averaged 14.7 points, 7.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 32 games this season for the Clippers.
The NBA has been trying to make the game more entertaining, which is part of what led to the league’s new salary cap.
The league will have to increase the amount of guaranteed money in the deal for stars such as James, who has a player clause for the rest of his career.
James said he was open to negotiating a contract extension with the Cavs.
“They have made a lot of strides in the last three or four years,” James, a fourtime All-Star, said.
“So it is time for them to make some moves.
If they can get the right deals done for me and my family, it will make me even happier.”