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Podcast: What LeBron James’ extension means for the Lakers’ future

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LeBron James is the face of player empowerment and just gave up some of his control. Why?

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2020 NBA Finals - Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers were treated to some simultaneously shocking and glorious news this morning when it was announced that LeBron James was signing a two-year extension with the team, keeping him the purple and gold through 2023.

It’s a strange turn for James, who has prioritized his individual flexibility since heading back to Cleveland in 2014. He made a habit of signing a series of short-term contracts to keep the pressure on his franchise to continuously field championship-worthy rosters. But now he’s committed to the Lakers for another three seasons, the latest step in what has been an increasingly fruitful partnership between James and this organization.

On the latest episode of “I Love Basketball” on the Silver Screen & Roll podcast, your hosts Anthony Irwin and Sabreena Merchant discuss James’ extension in the context of everything else that happened in the NBA world Wednesday, specifically some of the issues that have surfaced about the Lakers’ Staples Center neighbors. They discuss what the extension signals about player empowerment, and how giving players everything they want without any concessions can have dramatic consequences for team chemistry. Unless of course, that player is LeBron James.

They also discuss what this move means for the Lakers and their future, especially as it relates to Anthony Davis’ next contract and the team’s free agency plans for the upcoming offseason. Finally, they conclude with how invested James is in playing with Bronny when this extension is over in 2023, and what teams would be willing to do to have both father and son on their roster.

You can listen to the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

You can follow your hosts on Twitter at @AnthonyIrwinLA and @sabreenajm.