Colin Cowherd: It’s not ‘nuts’ for LeBron James to take time off from the NBA like Michael Jordan

Video Details

As NBA free agency rapidly approaches, Colin Cowherd thinks it's not 'nuts' for LeBron James to take time off from the NBA like Michael Jordan did and explore his options. Do you agree with Colin?

- LeBron James, trading deadline they built him a new team. It's basically C plus players, LeBron James, and an injured Kevin Love that should come back in a month. That's what it is. Maybe good enough to win the East, probably good enough to win the East, probably. But going to get swept by Golden State, would get throttled by Houston, no question. Just not as good, not as deep, not as talented.

And in recent days, LeBron had a real clever move last night, whatever. And he was talking about it after the game, and LeBron has this year talked much more about his individual accomplishments. He has. And I think there's two reasons for it. Number one, is he knows he has no chance to win a championship and he's on the back nine of his career probably about the 12th hole, maybe 13. But he's got some good holes left. So LeBron is now focusing more on his brand, the individual, greatness, try to get an MVP if he can. Careers, you know, not a ton left. And he has no chance to win the title. First time in eight years. I mean, he's got no shot. This group is not going to do it. Lost at home last night to Philly.

And LeBron sitting around and looking. And he's the best basketball player in the world, regardless of who wins MVP. He's the best basketball player in the world. And Philadelphia and the Lakers are still too young, and Houston, if he goes there, they'll be paying three stars max money and have absolutely no bench. I mean, he'll have to play 45 minutes. San Antonio has got Greg Popovich in a very rigid system. Golden State going there would be the ultimate ring chase. And Cleveland, it's just an average roster. They can't reboot it again. This is what it is. I mean, was it yesterday J.R. Smith got suspended for throwing soup at an assistant coach? It's a mess.

And I'm sitting here thinking-- this will sound crazy but it's really not. Michael Jordan did it, Phil Jackson did it, Chip Kelly did it, why doesn't LeBron James retire until next year's trading deadline? Why not? I mean, you're looking around the league right now. This is what Phil Jackson did after the Bulls dynasty, he moved to Montana. And he said, "I got my rings, I got my money, and I got patience." And he waited for the best offer to come. And by doing that, Phil Jackson landed the Lakers with Shaq and Kobe. Lakers decided we've got Del Harris, we're winning but we're not winning titles, and Del Harris had a winning record. And they were winning a bunch of games. And they decided, "Let's go call the guy up in Montana in the cabin." Nice cabin on the lake, it was Phil Jackson. And then, for the next 10 years, he won a bunch more titles.

Chip Kelly rushed into that job with the 49ners. And when he took the job my take away was, "Dude, what's the hurry? You made a ton at Oregon, the Eagles are paying you a fortune, why are you rushing into that job?" I tell the story years ago, my friend Mike Dunleavy rushed into a Clippers job. And I remember thinking at the time, "You just got to the Western Conference Finals with Portland a couple of years ago. Sit back, survey the situation, don't go work for Donald Sterling. What's the rush?"

Everybody's always rushing to take the next job. I totally get that. If you live in either check to check or you've got mouths to feed and you don't have billions of dollars. But if you're LeBron James, and you're sitting there-- Michael Jordan did it, Phil Jackson's done it. By the way, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning missed a year, came back. It's not like Lebron's going to go and sit around eating potato chips for the next 12 months and get fat and can't play. Why doesn't LeBron James at the end of this season step back and say, "I'm going to take six months off. I'm going to survey the situation. I'm going to see what Paul George does. I want to watch that OKC situation. I want to watch that Houston situation. I want to see if the Sixers and the Lakers continue to grow. Looks like Lonzo Ball and Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Brandon Ingram and Kuzma, they got some legs here. They can play. San Antonio, let's see what happens with Kawhi Leonard."

I don't understand this. I get it if you're live in check to check, if you've got a normal job, but Phil Jackson set the template. He set the template. Once you got the rings and the money, just be patient. That's the advantage to be in a billionaire. That's the advantage to be in the world's best basketball player. You're not taking two years off. I mean, Michael Jordan left like two and a half years, came back and still won titles. LeBron James is in what, the 15th year of his career? He's got teams making up billboards or at least people in communities making up billboards recruiting him.

You're not winning anything with Cleveland. Philly and the Lakers right now feel too young. Houston would have no bench. Popovich isn't changing his offensive system for you. And Golden State would be a ring chase. I've never understood why people with means rush into the next job. Here's one thing I know about sports, it changes fast.

After Chip Kelly got fired by the San Francisco 49ers, he interviewed here at Fox, he interviewed at ESPN, and he just sat back. He just sat back. And he just waited for a bunch of guys to get fired. Do you realize that four of the top sixth highest paid coaches took time off before their current job? Is that in the NBA or is that in college football? That's in the NBA, we just dug that up. I don't think it's crazy. I don't think it's nuts. I think we have a template. I don't know why LeBron doesn't consider it.