Bill Plaschke: LeBron James' new contract guarantees one thing -- more Lakers mediocrity

Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

LOS ANGELES — Two more guaranteed years of LeBron James?

Two more years of history, two more years of glamour, two more years of buzz.

Two more years of injury reports, two more years of bad drama, two more years of embarrassing mediocrity.

So, Lakers fans, how are you looking at this?

If you like your basketball with bells and whistles, you will react to Wednesday’s news of James’ new contract with a cheer.

If you like it with championships, however, you will react with a sigh.


Me, I think I’ll just scream.

James is arguably the best player in basketball history and will undoubtedly command the league’s biggest headlines this season when he passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in becoming the NBA’s all-time scoring leader. There was a time when building on the final year of his contract with a two-year extension worth $97.1 million would have been a brilliant decision for a title-contending team.

Now is not that time, and this is not that place.

An organization in need of a massive rebuild just signed up for a flashy rerun. A franchise lacking in youth and depth just tied its fortunes to a guy who will play his final guaranteed season at age 39.


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