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LeBron James says he’d play for the Warriors or Heat, if not the Lakers

On his latest episode of “The Shop,” LeBron James picked teams from this year’s playoffs — from which his Lakers were excluded — that he’d like to join up with.

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Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

LeBron James just can’t help himself from making waves. After 19 years of professional athletic excellence, LeBron’s earned a certain gravitas that few other athletes can boast.

On his most recent episode of “The Shop,” LeBron was asked by his longtime friend Maverick Carter which playoff team he would play for if he could choose any of them. LeBron laughed, acknowledged that he was being set up for trouble, then proceeded to answer the question anyway.

“The team I would love to play for is not in the playoffs which is the Lakers. But if there was one team I know I could make an immediate impact in the postseason and we could be very special, it’d either be Miami or Golden State.”

Outside of not answering the question, LeBron did take about the safest option he could have. Having already played in Miami, winning two championships during his four-year stint there, his answer to Carter’s inquiry isn’t entirely surprising.

Choosing Golden State is a little more eyebrow-raising for a couple of reasons. For one, LeBron has four times met the Warriors in the Finals, and been on the losing end of all but one of those matchups. And while they may not be a rival of the Lakers, the Warriors are at the very least one of their staunchest competitors in the Western Conference.

But LeBron also provided some reasoning that makes sense. Fellow Klutch client Draymond Green is a friend — Draymond has previously said he’d skip a Warriors game to watch LeBron break the all-time scoring record — and LeBron specifically said during the episode that he likes the way Draymond talks on the court.

LeBron has also stated before that he’d be interested in teaming up with Steph Curry. There has never really been a feasible way to make that happen and it’s never been something that’s gotten off the ground floor, but James’ interest alone is noteworthy.

The Warriors have been on a roll during these playoffs, most recently highlighted by Curry’s all-time performance on Friday. With the Lakers out of the playoffs, LeBron has resorted to watching the games while tweeting out his thoughts, even tossing in a Q&A during the postseason as well.

LeBron has hardly missed watching a playoff game this year, even tuning in from the Maldives. LeBron says he woke up in the middle of the night while on vacation with his wife, Savannah, to ensure caught every game live.

“I was literally in the Maldives waking up at 3 o’clock in the morning watching the playoff games. Every single game at 3 o’clock in the morning waking up, watching the games. As much as I don’t want to watch it because it burns in my stomach to not be a part of these games because it’s the best time to play basketball, the fan in me, I just love it.”

As much as I love the sport, I can’t imagine ever waking up at 3 a.m. to watch a basketball game, especially one that doesn’t include the Lakers. Mark that one down as yet another way LeBron is built differently than I.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.