It feels like a distant memory at this point, but last year’s NBA bubble clearly had lasting effects on players. The Los Angeles Lakers are the best example of a team with lingering effects. After dominating the league last season, the quick turnaround to this season proved to be too much and injuries piled up.
It’s unlikely that the NBA has to do another bubble anytime soon but LeBron James wants to stay far away from Orlando, Florida. The superstar recently made it very clear that he wouldn’t even consider playing for the Magic if he got traded there.
“You gotta understand anytime I hear ‘Orlando’ right now, I get PTSD,” LeBron said on the HBO show The Shop: Uninterrupted, referring to last season’s NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida.
“They have no chance” of getting him in a trade, LeBron said. “I’ll just retire. It’s over with. ‘LeBron’s been traded to Orlando.’ ‘LeBron lives in Malibu.’”
There are a lot of reasons why LeBron wouldn’t play for Orlando and nobody is trading the superstar. However, it is interesting to hear a player be so candid about not wanting to go to a specific team.
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Former LeBron Teammate Believes He Should Retire Now
For a long time, LeBron has defied Father Time. He’s continued to be the best player in the NBA despite turning 36 during the season. However, he finally started to look mortal after suffering a high ankle sprain towards the second half of the season. With a full offseason to get healthy, he can return to his dominant ways but there are certainly more questions than there were in the past.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Channing Frye suggested that LeBron consider retiring now while he’s still playing at a high level.
“He can be your facilitator, your guy. You cannot rely on him to give you fifty. You cannot rely on him to give you these crazy triple-doubles,” Frye said on the Talkin’ Blazers podcast. “He’s just had too many miles, the tread is almost off the tire.
“So if Rob [Pelinka] cannot bring him a championship team, Bron, in my opinion, should say ‘Thank you. I had a great career, 18, 19 years in the league… I’m going to retire on top.”
LeBron Isn’t Going Anywhere
It’s premature to even suggest LeBron retire right now. He’s a season removed from winning a championship and was considered an MVP candidate for most of the season before he got hurt. Even if he’s not the best player in the NBA anymore, he’ll still be among the best. Also, he’s given no indication that he’s close to retirement.
LeBron can’t play forever and that’s becoming more clear as he gets older. In a perfect world, he’ll play second fiddle to Anthony Davis going forward. If Davis can’t stay healthy, then the Lakers might run into problems because LeBron can only do so much at his age.