MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James is leaving.
For a family vacation, that is.
The Miami Heat star said that’s his first order of business, and during the time away from basketball he’ll start the process of moving past this season and looking toward the future.
“I just want to win. That’s all that matters to me,” James said Tuesday after emerging from the final team meeting, one where coach Erik Spoelstra urged his team take plenty of pride from the season, even though the end result was an NBA Finals loss to San Antonio. “I haven’t even begun to even think about what my future holds or what I have in store. I will sit down with my team at some point, my family as well. Today definitely wasn’t the day.
“If my family is happy, then I’m happy and able to perform at a high level.”
If so, then they’ve been happy during his first four years in Miami: James has been to the NBA Finals all four seasons in which he’s played for the Heat, capturing two championships, and no one in the league over that span has logged more minutes, made more field goals or won more games than the four-time MVP.
And now he could leave.
James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all become free agents, though none have made decisions on whether they’ll opt out. They came together amid much fanfare in 2010, and this summer might be similar in many ways for that trio, the Heat and the NBA as a whole — with all eyes on what they’ll do.
“I feel more at ease this time,” James said, adding that “2010, it was out of control. It was the craziest summer I’ve ever been a part of. … I’m definitely in a better place right now even though in 2010 I got put out in the postseason earlier than I expected or didn’t accomplish what I wanted to, and I have kind of the same feeling now.”
James said that at some point, he, Wade and Bosh will gather to talk about their plans. They have until June 29 to inform the Heat whether they will exercise their rights to become free agents — moves that in all three cases would not prohibit them from returning to Miami. Bosh revealed Tuesday that the group will meet with Heat president Pat Riley as well, to get the team’s vision for what next season’s roster would look like.
“I’m sure Riley has a finite plan moving forward,” Bosh said. “I guess it kinds of really starts with him, just listening to him, kind of get his feel for the situation. He’ll plug ’em wherever something is needed.”