Alright, get your tinfoil hats ready. It's conspiracy time.
LeBron James is in the midst of what would be a pretty insane upset over the greatest regular season team in NBA history. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Lakers fans should be pulling for him to do so. Sit down if you must. This one's a doozie.
James wants to finish his career surrounded by friends. Bill Simmons has mentioned it in a podcast. Woj mentions it in his latest report. Dave McNenamin basically said so outright in while speaking to Katie Nolan on her "Garbage Time podcast". I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but as the old saying goes: where there's smoke, there's fire, or something.
James seemed to paint himself into a corner with his letter explaining the move back to Cleveland. One wouldn't think he could leave after basically making himself look like some prodigal son returning, but here we are. When you wield as much power across a professional league as James does, why not use it to play out your career exactly as you'd like it?
Here's how Woj puts it:
One more victory, one more magnificent night at Oracle Arena, and James will get to run off with his buddies again somewhere warm. Miami. Los Angeles. Wherever. There's a restlessness about James that craves the next big move, the next power play. Franchises are on watch again, believing nothing's forever in Northeast Ohio. Sooner or later, there's a belief that James comes into play again, a line of thinking that his inner circle has done nothing to dissuade. As for James himself, well, he has gone so far as to publicly describe an end-of-career scenario that doesn't include Cleveland.
It's worth noting that Woj doesn't specifically mention the Lakers. Los Angeles could also mean a stint playing for the Clippers, which seems easier in terms of the moving pieces that would have to fit in such a monumental uniting of stars, which is what James himself wants to happen.
"I really hope that, before our career is over, we can all play together," James told Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. "At least one, maybe one or two seasons -me, Melo, D-Wade, CP- we can get a year in. I would actually take a pay cut to do that."
That pay cut would probably have to be substantial, due to the amount of money it would take to make such a team work, and the backflips whichever organization that pulls this off would have to do are pretty incredible. Having them all go to a different team without the benefit of Bird rights just seems really hard to make work. It's also odd that Chris Bosh hasn't been named in any of these rumors, but that might be more a sign of concern over his heart condition.
With that said, some kind of lineup featuring the names mentioned above does sound like a bunch of fun. With all the columns written about the Lakers' dire need of superstars, to suddenly have a handful of them all end up in Los Angeles would be quite the development. Logistically, I'd hope James wouldn't force the Lakers to completely abandon their long-term rebuild to do so, but given what LeBron offers both on the court and off it, if he says "jump", many teams would simply ask "how high?"
Again, none of this is remotely likely, and seems to depend on LeBron winning a game seven against a historically great Warriors team in their building, so take this with a mountain of salt. If nothing else, the photoshops of all those guys wearing Lakers uniforms should keep the internet busy for a little while. Now, if you don't mind, I should probably stop typing in case the aliens watching us through our webcams are Celtics fans.
You can follow the author of this article at @AnthonyIrwinLA.