James planning for end of lockout
Lebron James has insisted the NBA lockout will end and there will be an NBA season next year.
He is confident that a deal will be struck despite many NBA stars seeking other options elsewhere over the past few months.
"I'm preparing for an NBA season. I'm preparing for there to be a training camp in the next month.
“I'm very optimistic that Billy Hunter and the owners and David Stern will figure out a way to come together and for us to have a season. And I'll be ready for it."
Other big name players such as Kobe Bryant, Deron Williams and Dwayne Wade aren’t as hopeful. Williams has already signed a one-year contract for $5 million to play for Beşiktaş of the Turkish Basketball League. He plans to return to the NBA though once the lockout is over. Bryant and Wade haven’t signed any formal agreements yet but are flirting with offers from Chinese and Turkish clubs in exhibition games.
Billy Hunter, NBA union chief, also doesn’t see an NBA season in the cards and would strongly bet against it at the moment. He believes the owners have the upper hand right now because they are the ones suing which puts the players on the defensive.
The Miami forward and Akron native understands why some players would want to explore their options.
"We all love the game of basketball so much," James said. "And the love of the game is always going to be there. Guys love the game."
Although James isn’t searching for any clubs overseas, he is still preparing for next year’s Olympics in London. He hopes to hold on to the gold medal that the Americans of the Redeem Team fought so strongly to get back at the Beijing Games.
"I love representing my country and doing it the way I love to do it and that's playing the game of basketball. So I would love to be a part of the 2012 team travelling to London and defending our gold medal."
James also wants to improve his game even further in order to win his first NBA championship. He has been working out twice a day and practicing with NBA legend and former Rockets star Hakeem Olajuwon.
"I'm doing whatever it takes to just become a better basketball player. Just everyday just trying to critique my game - seeing ways that I can get better so I can be more of a complete basketball player on the court, a better leader on and off the court and continue to work towards my goal of winning an NBA championship.
"I look at what he (Olajuwon) was able to do throughout his career. Unbelievable talent. Multiple champion. Just to see how he was able to dominate in the low post, for me as an individual, I just try to look at some of the things I feel I need to get better at and hit home at it. Our team becomes better if I continue to get better and that's what it's about.”