Ric Bucher appeared on Speak For Yourself on Tuesday and shared one of the hottest basketball takes that we might have ever heard. Bucher said that LeBron James doesn't want to resume the 2019-2020 NBA season because he feels he is now at a disadvantage. This is borderline insane for a number of reasons and you can count Jason Whitlock among those who are visibly shocked to hear this accusation against LeBron.
This is just a wild couple minutes from Bucher. If the season resumed in some form, LeBron and the Lakers are sitting pretty at 49-14. They have a 5.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference and the second-best record in the NBA with three-quarters of the regular season completed. Why would anyone - ANYONE - give that up?
If LeBron feels there is a disadvantage in this situation because he's 35, he surely can't look forward and think he'll end up in a better position to compete for a title after playing 34.9 minutes a night in what would amount to 60 exhibition games. If LeBron James, while healthy and still one of the best basketball players alive at the moment, is having doubts, imagine what the rest of the players must be going through.
Not only would he be throwing away his own excellent season, he'd be jettisoning a relatively healthy season for Anthony Davis in the middle of his prime. Would the older Lakers have trouble getting going again? Maybe, but Kawhi Leonard's chronic knee issues (which he's been dealing with for years) probably aren't going to magically go away either. In what universe would LeBron look at this situation and see anything but a legitimate shot at a championship?
Then there's Bucher's comment that if the season were canceled, people would look at the season and say, "Well, LeBron had the Lakers in the first in the West. If it hadn't been interrupted. If it hadn't ended, he very likely would have gotten the championship in Los Angeles whether he ends up getting one down the road or not." Seriously. He said those words.
Ric Bucher thinks that people would give someone credit for a title they never won. That does not happen. Especially with LeBron. Sports fans spend half their time de-legitimizing titles that people actually won. You don't think someone might point out, "the Clippers would have knocked out the Lakers in the playoffs," or, "the Lakers never would have stood a chance against the Bucks," or any other reasons (justifiable or not) they would not have won? Get real. If the NBA season does resume in some form, you can affix an asterisk to the title right now, no matter who ends up on top.
No matter what happens, there's no one who would willingly give up the Lakers' current position. Especially not LeBron James.