If there were any LeBron James rumors about what he’d do after the 2020-21 NBA season, when he was expected to be a free agent, they can cease. James has reportedly inked a two-year, $85 million extension to remain with the Lakers.
The deal takes out one superstar in what’s expected to be a star-studded free agency class in 2021. Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Blake Griffin, Paul George, and Jrue Holiday each have player options. Kyle Lowry, Victor Oladipo, DeMar Derozan, Andre Drummond, and Rudy Gobert headline the unrestricted free agents.
James’ free agency usually gets the most attention, but now other teams can’t entertain the idea of getting the future Hall of Famer.
The new contact will take James through the 2022-23 season, marking his 20th in the league when he’s 38.
James’ eldest son, Bronny, graduates high school in 2023. James has mentioned before that he’d like to play with or against his son if he was still playing at a high level.
It’s hard to see James slowing down even though he’ll be 36 on Dec. 30. One of the best examples of a father-son duo playing together in sports was Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr. joining the Mariners. The elder Griffey was 40 when the younger was 20.
If James’ goal is to play with his son, he’s on track. His son would have to be good enough to get to the NBA. His chances may be pretty good, considering he’s already looking like this at 16.
Third Ball brother added to NBA roster
Lavar Ball was right after all. Well, partly.
His dream of having three sons play for the Lakers didn’t come true, but all three are now in the NBA. The middle brother, LiAngelo Ball, signed a contract with the Detroit Pistons.
It’s an Exhibit 10 deal, so his chances of making the final roster aren’t guaranteed. However, Ball has earned an opportunity.
Ball enrolled at UCLA before shoplifting charges in China led to him eventually leaving the Bruins before playing a regular-season game. “Gelo” was the least heralded of the three brothers, but he did score 72 points before declaring for the NBA Draft.
It’s only a matter of time before Lavar offers his “I told you so” message. Lonzo is primed to be the starting point guard for the Pelicans. LaMelo was just drafted No. 3 overall by the Hornets, and Gelo is a Piston.
Ravens missing seven Pro Bowlers vs. Steelers
The Baltimore Ravens are playing today with a record number of COVID-19 replacements. Ten players were activated from the practice squad as replacements. A practice squad holds a maximum of 16 players.
This is a big game for the Ravens. Their chances of catching the Steelers in the AFC North are slim, but playoff aspirations are on the line, too.
Baltimore is currently one spot out of the playoffs and would drop to ninth with a loss. Considering league MVP Lamar Jackson and six other former Pro Bowlers are on the Covid-19 list, the Ravens would have to pull off a shocker.
Tyrod Taylor won’t file grievance
Coaches often don’t let injured players lose their starting jobs, but that’s what happened to Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor. The injury was caused by a team doctor puncturing his lung before a Week 2 game.
Taylor suffered cracked ribs in Week 1 but was expected to play. A painkilling injection turned into Taylor losing his spot. Justin Herbert took his job.
The NFLPA also worked with Taylor to see if there was any wrongdoing, but it doesn’t appear that anything was found.