Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

LeBron James cools on talk about owning NBA team one day

LA Lakers playmaker conceded he no longer finds thought 'intoxicating'

Oct 24, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Lebron James (center) celebrates with teammates against the Phoenix Suns in the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 24, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Lebron James (center) celebrates with teammates against the Phoenix Suns in the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James says that following fellow NBA superstar Michael Jordan into owning an NBA club is "more of an aspiration" than dream as he prepares for a 15th NBA All-Star Game.

The 34-year-old Los Angeles Lakers playmaker will captain Team LeBron against Team Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks in the annual talent showcase Sunday at Charlotte, North Carolina.

Jordan, who won six NBA titles in the 1990s with the Chicago Bulls, now owns the Charlotte Hornets and while James once said there was "no maybe about it" that he would be the majority owner of a team one day, he was more hesitant about the prospects Saturday.

"It's not that it's intoxicating to me, and I don't think about it on a day-to-day basis," James said. "It would have to be the right fit. It would have to be the right city. It would have to be the right situation.

"It's not like it's a dream of mine. It's more of an aspiration. See if it happens. If it don't, I won't be disappointed in anything I've done off the floor."

James said he feels that if he decides ownership is what he wants, he would be able to assemble the investors needed to purchase a club.

"I believe if I wanted to, I could own a team 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."

Michael Jordan, centre, who won six NBA titles in the 1990s with the Chicago Bulls, now owns the Charlotte Hornets. Gerry Broome / AP Photo
Michael Jordan, centre, who won six NBA titles in the 1990s with the Chicago Bulls, now owns the Charlotte Hornets. Gerry Broome / AP Photo

'Ton more years' to go

Forbes values an average NBA club at US$1.9 billion (Dh7bn) and says James has net worth beyond $450 million. The 34-year-old forward, a three-time NBA champion, also figures he has many more years on the court before ownership becomes a consideration.

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

James ranks fifth on the NBA all-time scoring list with 32,082 points while Jordan is fourth on 32,292.

"It's kind of hard to talk into the future. I kind of live in the moment," James said regarding how it would feel to pass Jordan.

"One thing I can tell you is anytime I'm mentioned with one of the greats, if not the greatest that ever 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."

Updated: February 17, 2019 09:10 AM

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