Don’t worry, pipe-dreaming NBA fans. LeBron James has seen the extravagant billboards. And the writing in the sky behind planes. He knows you want him on your favorite team, and that your favorite team probably wants him, too.
Still, he has no intention of staging a big to-do should he decline his player option and enter free agency. The plan is to keep things simple, according to ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne:
While James hasn’t decided yet whether to pick up his player option, sources close to the situation tell ESPN that he has no intention of hearing elaborate pitch meetings from teams.
James might meet or speak with a club official or owner at some point, but the elaborate presentations that have become common in NBA free agency over the years are unnecessary after 15 seasons in the league.
Should James become a free agent, league sources believe he and his agents Rich Paul and Mark Termini have enough understanding of the stakes and NBA landscape to handle the process without much fanfare.
This should almost be expected at this point. LeBron’s list of potential landing spots have never been smaller as he enters his third go-round of free agency. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers are pretty much it. The field was larger in 2010, when he first left Cleveland, and it was bigger in 2014, when he returned, as well.
This is just what happens when you’re wrapping up you’re 15th year in the league. You know what you want. You know what you need. LeBron doesn’t need the pomp-and-promise theatrics. He knows what he’ll do and how he’ll fit with prospective rosters. He’ll have questions about supplementary moves, ownership’s commitment to paying the tax and maybe even the off-court lifestyle. Beyond that, though, he doesn’t need anything else. He has all the information he needs already.