The ship may have sailed on Darren Collison returning to the NBA this season but that doesn’t mean he’s done forever. At 32 years old, he should have at least a few more years left in the tank. The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers were interested in his services this season but he decided to stay retired.
Though he skipped on both of them this year, they’d probably both take him on for next season. In an interview on the A Minute Til 6 podcast, Collison had some very interesting things to say about Lakers star LeBron James.
[LeBron],” Collison said after being asked if there’s a player he would/would’ve like to play with. “‘Bron is somebody I’ve competed against so many times and I would like to play with him just from an IQ standpoint. His ability to see the game at a higher level than most people … He’s probably the best the game right now. … I’ll LeBron and Kawhi [Leonard]. Kawhi I really gained a lot of respect for over the last two years.”
The Lakers will probably be very quick to inform Collison that he could easily play with LeBron next season. If he decides to return, there’s a really good shot he either gets to play with LeBron or Kawhi. Collison recently called out the Lakers for “overhyping” the rumors he was interested in coming back. However, there probably isn’t any bad blood.
Lakers Could’ve Used Collison
With Avery Bradley sitting out of the NBA reboot, it’s clear that Lakers are hurting on the perimeter. They got blown out by the Toronto Raptors on Saturday and while they did turn things around against the Jazz, they have problems. Collison isn’t an elite defender but he would’ve been a really good player to lead the team’s second unit.
Right now, when LeBron is off the court, the team struggles significantly. The Lakers’ roster isn’t perfect and the over-reliance on their two stars could come back to bite them in the playoffs. They do have enough talent to win it all but it’s not going to be easy.
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LeBron Having a Hard Time in NBA Bubble
The Lakers have been in the NBA bubble for about a month and the playoffs haven’t even started. The time away from his family is already starting to wear on LeBron.
“I miss the hell out of my family,” LeBron said after the win over the Utah Jazz on Monday. “My wife, my kids, my mother. And so on and so on. So, it’s a huge challenge.”
If the Lakers make it to the NBA Finals, they could be in the bubble for at least two more months. That’s a long time to be disconnected from the world. It’ll be very interesting to see if affects players as the playoffs go on. The Lakers are very motivated to win a championship this year so they’ll probably remain focused but it can’t be easy.