LeBron James, still basking in the glory of his fourth NBA Finals and MVP trophies as well as his elevated status as an all-time great, is off enjoying a well-deserved vacation with his wife and children.
King James is not yet in the mood or physical condition to come back so soon to begin his title defense at 36, the age he will be in December.
That is the message — or warning — that James’ Los Angeles Lakers teammate Danny Green is delivering to the NBA league office. NBA brass want to begin the 2020-2021 season on Dec. 22, 2020. James will turn 36 just eight days later, an age that most other players have retired or are contemplating retiring from the game.
Speaking on “The Ringer NBA Show, Green said, “If we start in December, I think most guys [are like] ‘I’m not going to be there. … To have that quick of a restart, I wouldn’t expect to see [LeBron] there. I wouldn’t expect to see him there for the first month of the season.”
Lakers guard Danny Green on the proposed Dec. 22 start to next season:
"If we start in December, I think most guys [are like] 'I'm not going to be there… to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn't expect [LeBron] to be there for the 1st month of the season." pic.twitter.com/NYqNxzNEmZ
— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) October 26, 2020
The Lakers collected their record-tying 17th championship banner on Oct. 11, beating the Miami Heat 4-2 in the NBA Finals with James as the anchor and centerpiece of the franchise.
Normally, players have a four- to five-month reprieve from the rigors of an 82-game season. The league is proposing a 72-game year, finishing before the postponed 2020 Olympic Games are scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
There is also a matter of fiscal prudence, Commissioner Adam Silver argues. The dividends to the NBA Board of Governors would translate to $500 million in additional revenue should the new season start before Christmas rather than after the new year.