Chris Broussard reacts to Charles Barkley’s comments on LeBron

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Chis Broussard and Doug Gottlieb discuss Charles Barkley’s comment that LeBron James is ‘on the downside of his career, wants to be a Hollywood mogul.’ Additionally, Broussard explains how LeBron joining the Los Angeles Lakers may be a factor in transitioning to life after basketball.

- The downside is interesting. We talked about this yesterday. LeBron-- a lot of people think-- maybe a majority of people think that he had his best season ever last year. I don't agree. I think offensively, you could say it was his best season.

- Statistically?

- Yes. But defensively, he was not close to what he used to be when he was mean absolute terror in Miami. But he still had a tremendous season. He's still the best player in the world. So I would not say downside. I give him two, maybe three-- I'd say two to three years as still a top five player in this league. Barkley makes a point, so I wouldn't agree with the downside point.

But I do think in addition to family, business was a big factor. Now, obviously, LeBron has done business from playing in Cleveland and Miami, so he didn't have to go there. But it does make things easier. And you already have seen one of his shows, "The Shop" is now picked up by HBO. There are reports that he's had dinner with actors and things like that. So he's going-- I do think part of this is a transition to life after basketball.

And look, I think any of us that are perceptive see it. LeBron James is not going to go away when he's done playing in the NBA. He is going to be a factor, whether it's politics, business, entertainment, whatever. He is going to be a factor in American life for decades to come.

- Which is why it made sense to work for Magic Johnson, who, of course, has been a factor and been able to be a success outside of the world of basketball, now come back around to basketball. Heck, Magic was even at least part-- although a very small part-- of the rebuilding of the LA Dodgers. Think about the impact that Magic has had, and it does make sense.

I know that people want to listen to Chuck and think he's a bitter former NBA player that is doing the get off my lawn thing. But the reality of it is he's probably closer to the truth than he is to being bitter. Now, when we hear downside of the career, people think, well, that's OJ Simpson in a 49ers uniform, or that's Shaq in a Celtics uniform. That's not what he said, and I don't think that's what he's close to meaning.

Peak LeBron was probably somewhere in between the last year in Miami and the first year or two in Cleveland. That's peak LeBron. And now you're getting towards whatever becomes the downside. Does he go off a cliff? No. He takes care of his body. Basketball is important to him. He understands last year I played 82. I can't practice this year. He may play 72, but he will practice more.

So I think he understands that he's aging. He's also learned to take plays off defensively, which is one of the reasons that I believe that Durant is actually the better player-- because Durant is now the better defender. He still has more juice in the tank. He can even defend the rim. He can guard every position on the floor.

But instead of getting into the argument over who's the best player, he said, does he want to be a Hollywood mogul. Yeah, he does. Is he on the somewhat downside of his career? Sure. That doesn't mean he can't still be a dominant player in the league, can't still win a title, can't still build the Lakers. And then when he has time-- you've got a lot of free time-- invest in your future. Invest in your kids' future.

Oh, yeah, by the way, family is a factor. Los Angeles has become the absolute wellspring for so many quality high school, college NBA players. It's the best pickup spot. It's the best AU basketball. And it will prepare Bronny for the fish bowl that's going to be whether he goes to college or goes to the pros. I think all of those were factors. And I think you may look at it as a negative. I look at it as a reality, a guy who has a really good sense of where he is in this world, where he wants to be, and how he wants to get there. It shows an incredible amount of intelligence.

He's not necessarily-- LeBron is not necessarily being totally honest with us about it, but that's because people don't want to hear the truth. They don't want to hear, hey, dude, I went there because-- yeah, they're not as good as the Sixers, not as good as the Rockets, but I can win anywhere I go. And oh, yeah, by the way, I'm winning off the court. My family wants to be there. And it doesn't suck that when I walk out of Staples Center, it's 75 and sunny every single day.

- Here's something else that's tripping some people up. For the last at least 10, 11 years, it has all been about winning a championship for LeBron. You can say the first year he went back to Cleveland, he said he was going to be patient, it wouldn't happen overnight. So maybe he didn't expect that year to necessarily win the title. But once they got Kevin Love, Kyrie, they obviously reached the Finals-- from that point on, every year was like, how can we win a championship. How can we win a championship? This year clearly is not about that.

Now, he's not going to concede. Of course he's going to try to win a championship. But nobody expects them to win one. And in his heart of hearts, he probably knows we're not likely to win the championship either. So I think that is something that trips people up. Because for so long, it's been how can LeBron win another ring, how can LeBron win another ring.