5:28 PM, November 4, 2009 ι By POST STAFF REPORT
Michael Jordan biographer Sam Smith speculates that LeBron James will join Kobe Bryant and the Lakers when James becomes a free agent after this season.
Writing on bulls.com, Smith says, "Well, at least Iím fairly sure now where LeBron James is going to be playing next season. Los Angeles, most likely with the Lakers."
As for a possible landing with the Knicks or Brooklyn-bound Nets, Smith writes, "The general consensus seems to be ... the New York teams generally are a mess and would mean a step back in his competitive career."
Smith presents his case by saying that James' desire for a championship will allow him to be a secondary star behind Bryant until Bryant, now 31, becomes a little older and the roles will reverse.
"Kobe, working toward incredible immortality on the way to maybe 10 or 11 championships, backs off some to allow James to be the dominant figure when James is 27 or 28 and Bryant is looking at 35. Bryant could ease into a brilliant supporting role while the Lakers continue winning titles, and, in the end, like base hits, they count how many. Not how you got them.
"The big reason I believe this could occur and work is because James is an unusual superstar."
Smith does point out that the Cavaliers would have to engineer a sign-and-trade with the Lakers, instead of losing James to the Knicks or Heat for nothing.
Los Angeles has other advantages, according to Smith.
"James has often talked about expanding his empire, and lately has been involved with books and movies. So where else but in L.A. would you want to be to be involved in the entertainment industry?" he writes.
"Look, I believe James has no idea yet what he wants to do next summer. But I also believe the Lakersí scenario makes the most sense for him if he wants a chance to be considered among the greatest winners of all-time."
Smith is the author of "The Jordan Rules." The disclaimer on bulls.com reads, "All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls."