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LeBron James has been an NBA All-Star captain for all four years the league has used the format. But now he’s saying this season was his last.
LeBron James has had plenty of iconic All-Star moments in his career. He’s made 17 straight All-Star games, starting with his second season in the league, he’s been the MVP of the All-Star Game three separate times and for the past four seasons, he’s been one of the top-two fan vote-getters and served as captain for one of the two teams.
The wrinkle of captains choosing their teams from the pool of All-Stars has injected some life into the circus of All-Star weekend, in no small part by putting the biggest stars and the friendships and rivalries in the center of the action. But there’s a good chance this was the last time we’ll see LeBron be a part of it. Talking with media members after the game, LeBron said he’d like this to be his last year as an All-Star captain (h/t LakersNation).
“I hope that they allow me to retire from being an All-Star captain, so I can retire with a perfect 4-0 record. I’ll keep that forever. But we’ll just see what happens.”
Could LeBron James decide not to be the All-Star captain next season?
The current All-Star rules dictate that the player who gets the most fan votes in each conference serves as captain. Considering that LeBron continues to be one of the most productive and popular players in the league he’ll have to hope that fans honor his wishes and move their votes elsewhere or that the league creates a loophole that allows him to step aside.
If the league just lets him decline the captainship, the honor would presumably go to the second-leading vote-getter. This season, that would have been Stephen Curry (who eventually ended up on Team LeBron after being taken with the No. 3 pick in the All-Star Draft.