NBA

Silver will not 'anoint' LeBron's successor once he retires

By Sports Desk February 18, 2024

Adam Silver will not "anoint" any player to be the next LeBron James when he eventually retires.

Four-time MVP James is set to play in his 20th All-Star game on Sunday at the age of 39, averaging 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 7.8 assists so far this season for the 30-26 Los Angeles Lakers.

Though James is still performing well, he is in the latter stages of his career and the talk over who could potentially fill his place as the league's most recognisable player has been growing.

NBA commissioner Silver, though, compared James' potential retirement to that of Michael Jordan, saying players must earn the mantle of James' replacement.

"I would never anoint another player to be the next LeBron James just in the same way when Michael [Jordan] retired," Silver told reporters.

"I remember at the time David Stern [former NBA commissioner] was saying whoever demonstrates on the court that they should be.

"These new players aren't anointed. They demonstrate to the world, they demonstrate to the league that they deserve to be viewed in that same rare position as players like Michael and Kobe [Bryant] and LeBron and others."

Silver pointed to the rise of international talent in the NBA as potentially being able to somewhat fill the boots of James, stating the league is in "fantastic hands".

"Just look at the All-Stars that we're going to be seeing competing [Sunday] night," Silver added.

"Look at the magnitude of the pool of international players coming into this league. Look at the amount of basketball that's being played on a global basis."

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