LeBron James isn’t sure how long he will play as his 15th NBA season begins, but the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar would love to stay long enough to foul his now-teenaged son.
The 32-year-old forward’s quest for his eighth consecutive NBA Finals and ninth overall appearance began Tuesday with the Cavs hosting the Boston Celtics just hours after a profile on James was posted on the GQ magazine website.
In the story, James said he didn’t want to play in the NBA when he was washed up, but hoped to be around long enough to play against his 13-year-old son, LeBron Jnr, who has followed his dad into basketball.
“I know I won’t be able to play at this level forever, but to be washed (up) and play,” James said.
“I don’t know if I could play washed, but I damn sure would love to stick around if my oldest son can have an opportunity to play against me. That would be the icing on the cake right there.”
But James said he planned to hammer his son with physical play, even if he fouled out of the game or took a flagrant foul ejection doing it.
“I’ll foul the shit out of him,” James said with a laugh. “I would give him all six fouls. I’d foul the shit out of Bronny, man.”
Asked if that meant every time he tried to shoot, James said: “On sight: Flagrant 2.”
While that would keep James into the NBA until about age 40, it might not keep him in Cleveland, having already made good on his vow to bring a title to his home region club last year.
James, who could opt out of his contract next year and become a free agent, said he hopes to inspire and excite Cleveland fans but does not owe them staying there the remainder of his career.
“LeBron James owes nobody anything. Nobody,” James told GQ. “But what I will give to the city of Cleveland is passion, commitment and inspiration. As long as I put that jersey on, that’s what I represent. That’s why I’m there — to inspire that city. But I don’t owe anybody anything.”
James has won three NBA titles, two with Miami and another last year with the Cavs, but settled for runner-up five more times. Some have held those defeats against him when comparing him to Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan, who went 6-for-6 in NBA Finals appearances.
Asked what he needed to do to be a clear pick for fans over Jordan, James said: “If I was the most consistent and was at the top of the food chain more than anybody in NBA history.”