Jackson: Spurs Make Most Sense For LeBron

If James wants to compete for championships, playing for Gregg Popovich – and with Kawhi Leonard – is a good place to be

Tiki and Tierney
June 13, 2018 - 5:34 pm

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LeBron James, even at 33, is the best basketball player in the world. But where he plays next season will have less to do with next season and more to do with the rest of his career.

“Just watching LeBron, the physical attributes have diminished a little bit,” FOX Sports basketball analyst Jim Jackson said on Tiki and Tierney. “But to be able to play 15 years and be able to play 82 games and all playoff games, it’s incredible. So I don’t see his physical attributes diminishing like you see with older players a lot quicker. So for the next two or three years, physically, he’s going to be fine.”

Mentally, however, it could be a different story.

“I saw the mental fatigue – the mental fatigue of having to carry this Cleveland Cavs team through their different iterations of who they were,” Jackson said. “I think he wants to get to a place – whether it’s in Cleveland and they can re-haul, which is tough because they have three or four contracts that are tough to navigate – where he doesn’t have to mentally carry everything. He wants to get back to playing basketball and enjoying it – not having to do everything.”

James did everything for Cleveland, leading the Cavs in points (34.0), assists (9.0), steals (1.4) and blocks (1.0) this postseason.

While many analysts believe staying in the East is James’ best option, Jackson doesn’t necessarily agree.

“San Antonio makes the most sense in regards to just pure basketball,” Jackson said. “As an organization, Kawhi Leoanrd, I’m sure they'll get back into good graces. (The Spurs also have) LaMarcus Aldridge, and of course Gregg Popovich.”

And, of course, there’s the Lakers, who are in play for James despite having finished with a losing record in five straight seasons.

“L.A. is always an option in this regard: You have two max slots to bring guys in, two max players that can complement each other,” Jackson said. “If they choose to go that way – LeBron and another top free agent – it won’t be the same L.A. team that we saw last year.”