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NBA-LeBron plans to stay with struggling Lakers

Randy Mancini 5 Feb 26
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors
FILE PHOTO: Feb 12, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts after being fouled while shooting a three point shot against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

February 26, 2022

By Rory Carroll

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – LeBron James pushed back on rumors that he was looking to move on from the underperforming Los Angeles Lakers, saying he intended to stay with the team for as long as he can play.

Speaking to reporters following the Lakers 105-102 loss to the Clippers on Friday, the 37-year-old Ohio native dismissed talk that he could once again return to the Cleveland Cavaliers or pursue opportunities elsewhere.

“This is the franchise I see myself being with. I’m here,” said James, who is under contract with the Lakers for next season, which will be his fifth with Los Angeles and 20th overall.

“I see myself being with the purple and gold as long as I can play.”

The four-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star added that in addition to winning more championships, he also wanted to play alongside his 17-year-old son, Bronny.

“I also have a goal that if it’s possible, and I don’t know if it’s possible, that if I could play with my son, I would love to do that.

“Isn’t that something that any man would want in life? That’s like, the coolest thing that could possibly happen.”

The Lakers have struggled this season as the trio of James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook have had a limited number of opportunities to share the floor amid injuries.

Davis suffered a mid-foot sprain during a game of Feb. 16 and is expected to be out for at least three more weeks.

The Lakers, 27-32, are ninth in the Western Conference, and will look to get back on track when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles, editing by Pritha Sarkar)