Owning a team more of an aspiration: LeBron

CHARLOTTE • Ahead of his 15th National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game this morning (Singapore time), LeBron James revealed that owning an NBA team like basketball great and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan was "more of an aspiration" than a dream of his.

While the Los Angeles Lakers star once claimed there was "no maybe about it" when asked if he would be the majority owner of an NBA team one day, he was more guarded this time.

The 34-year-old told reporters: "It would have to be the right fit. It would have to be the right city. It would have to be the right situation.

"See if it happens. If it don't, I won't be disappointed in anything I've done off the floor."

James, however, felt he had the pulling power to assemble the investors needed to purchase an NBA team, which Forbes magazine has valued at an average cost of US$1.9 billion (S$2.5 billion).

He added: "I believe if I wanted to, I could own... or be part of a basketball team. I know I got so much knowledge of the game that I don't want to, once I stop playing, just to get away from the game.

"Obviously, I'm going to be along with my sons, because they're going to play the game. But, if I can give back to this league in any way shape or form, and continue to make this league as great as it is today, then I would love to."

However, the three-time NBA champion insisted he had no plans to retire in the near future as he has "got a lot more games to play".

He said: "A ton more years to play this game and be in a Lakers uniform. Once we get to that point, we'll cross that path. Hopefully, I can sit here and answer questions as a player for a long time."

The four-time Most Valuable Player, who will captain his team against Team Giannis (Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks) in the annual talent showcase in Charlotte, North Carolina, also touched on how it would feel to pass Jordan on the all-time scoring list.

James, who ranks fifth on the list with 32,082 points while Jordan is fourth on 32,292, said: "One thing I can tell you is anytime I'm mentioned with one of the greats, if not the greatest that played this game, it's crazy to me.

"It really is. You talk about MJ, who I looked up to and always believed was the greatest."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2019, with the headline 'Owning a team more of an aspiration: LeBron'. Print Edition | Subscribe