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#pounditMonday, June 17, 2024

Lakers already planning major honor for LeBron James

LeBron James in a purple Lakers sweater

Dec 9, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms-up prior to the game against the Memphis Grizzles at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James apparently has already done enough in five seasons to receive the ultimate honor from the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss spoke this week to Mark Medina of Sportskeeda and made a big revelation about James. Buss said that the Lakers will retire James’ jersey at the end of his career when he is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

“The standard for having your jersey retired as a Laker is when a player is inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said Buss. “I have absolutely no doubt that LeBron will make it into the Basketball Hall of Fame. When he does so, then we will retire his jersey. Knowing that he will make it into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he will have his Lakers jersey retired, no doubt about it.”

Buss indicated though that the team has not decided whether James No. 6 jersey, his No. 23 jersey, or both of them will be retired by the Lakers.

The move is a no-brainer for the Lakers from a PR standpoint, especially considering that James is one of the greatest players who ever lived and will likely finish his career in the purple and gold. James also became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in a Lakers uniform and led the team to a title in 2020 (though the Lakers have fallen way short in most of James’ other seasons with the team).

Buss’ Hall of Fame standard for a retired jersey is an interesting one though. Vlade Divac, Mitch Richmond, and Gary Payton are a few examples of Hall of Famers who were Lakers at one point but certainly didn’t deserve to have their jerseys retired by the team. Though James is obviously a much greater player than any of those guys (and has done enough as a Laker specifically), his legacy with the Lakers is still a subject of hot debate.

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