Speaking to the media after the 2022 All-Star game, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was asked to look ahead to the future, in a league without LeBron James.
The 18x All-Star celebrated his 37th birthday in December, but Silver says he isn't yet ready to prepare for an era without the King.
“I want to be absolutely clear. I am not prepared to talk about the post-LeBron era,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Yahoo Sports recently. “And I don't think it's because I'm in denial. He won a championship less than a year and a half ago. From my standpoint, LeBron is still playing at the very highest level in the league."
“At some point, a new player or players will emerge, I think, [to] take that leadership mantle in the league. It seems they always do. I'm just not prepared, even in the slightest, to start thinking about the league without LeBron, because he continues to be as committed as ever to the competition, to the league overall.”
For almost two decades, LeBron James has been the face of basketball, dominating the NBA and leaving no questions pertaining to his status as the best in the world.
He has done it all and has nothing left to prove, but he has yet to show any signs of slowing down. This season, his 19th in the NBA, he's averaging 29.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game on 52.2% shooting.
Still, even James cannot play forever. Whether it's next year or in 10 years, there will come a time when James will have to hang up his jersey for good. No doubt, that moment will be the end of an era for the NBA -- but someone will come to take his place, just like he took Jordan's place all those years ago.
For now, all we need to do is appreciate LeBron while he's still playing and recognize all that he's done for the game of basketball in the last 19 years.