Skip to main content

This NBA Coach Will "Force His Way" Into LeBron James' Free Agency Decision

LeBron James sweating in a headband.

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 02: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Arena on January 2, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

There seem to be three non-Cleveland Cavaliers teams being mentioned the most for LeBron James' free agency decision. Those three teams are the Houston Rockets, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The San Antonio Spurs are not one of those teams, though most of the longer lists do feature the prominent NBA franchise.

The main reason for the Spurs' potential chance to land LeBron, of course, is Gregg Popovich. James has never played for the man who is perhaps the league's greatest coach, but serious mutual respect is there.

Popovich, 69, might not seem like the type to go all-out in a free agency pursuit, but it appears that's going to change this summer.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reports that Popovich plans on forcing his way into James' decision.

From his report:

I’ve also been advised that the ever-persuasive San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich is bound to try to force his way into the conversation to sell James on the merits of South Texas.

Stein, however, feels another man will be a much bigger part of James' decision: Chris Paul.

"If Paul stays with the Rockets, Houston becomes a dangerous player, no matter how complicated it would be for the 65-win Rockets and their general manager, Daryl Morey, to orchestrate the requisite salary-cap gymnastics to bring James in. But don’t discount the idea that James could try to bring Paul with him to a team that can afford two superstars, such as the Lakers, because he and Paul really are that close," Stein says.

NBA free agency begins on July 1.