LeBron James jokes he'll be cherry-picking the entire first half of next season

It’s pretty good to be LeBron James these days. A fourth ring, a media business churning out content, an interview with Barack Obama.

However, even with James’ legendary maintenance, there’s no escaping Father Time. Or at least jokes about Father Time, from one of your best friends and the former president.

That was the 35-year-old James’ experience at the hands of Obama and business partner Maverick Carter at the end of this week’s episode of “The Shop” on HBO. James responded by comically revealing his plan for next season: months of cherry-picking.

From Silver Screen & Roll:

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Carter: LeBron, the season is coming up, you got 10 more years? Five more years? You looked like you’ve got about five to 10 the last time we saw you on the court.”

Obama: You know what though? He’s definitely gonna have some minutes restrictions. I’m not sure he’s getting back on D the first half of the season.

LeBron: (laughing) The first half of the season, I’m cherry-picking the whole first half of the season (laughs).

Obama: Hey, you’ve got to save yourself for when it counts.

LeBron: Yes sir.

Let’s be clear: James is joking here, however, there may be a grain of truth to it.

LeBron James might take a month off next NBA season

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James reacts during the first half in Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Miami Heat Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Two seasons less than two months apart is a big ask of veteran players on the Lakers and Heat. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

We’re about to be in November, and we still don’t know when the next NBA season is going to begin. The league wants to begin the season on Dec. 22 with training camps starting on Dec. 1, but the NBPA doesn’t want that.


A clear reason why players would oppose a December start to the season is that would mean a turnaround of less than two months for players who participated in the NBA Finals, which includes James. At the Lakers star’s age, that would be a rough challenge.

Lakers guard Danny Green has already warned that James and others could sit out the first month of the season if the league gets its way:

"If we start in December, I think most guys [are like], 'I'm not gonna be there,’” Green said. “If I had to guess, because we have a lot of vets on our team, it's not like we have a lot of young guys or rookies ... to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn't expect to see [LeBron] there. I wouldn't expect to see him probably for the first month of the season. He'll probably be working out with us, probably do some playing, but I just don't expect guys to want to be there, or show up willingly.

While you’d think that would be enough to give the NBA pause about its plans, a loss of up to $1 billion could still convince it to move ahead.


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