"I have absolutely no idea," James recently told ESPN.com. "I would love to spend the rest of my career in Miami with this great team and great organization as we continue to compete for championships. That's ideal. But we don't know what may happen from now to the end of the season. That's the nature of the business. It's the nature of not knowing what tomorrow brings.
"I mean, as a kid, I never thought the Bulls would break up. Never. If you'd of told me as a kid that (Michael) Jordan and (Scottie) Pippen wouldn't play together for the rest of their lives, I'd have looked at you crazy. And Phil Jackson wouldn't be the coach? I'd have looked at you crazy. But sometimes the nature of the business doesn't allow things to happen like you would want them to. But we'll see."
"I owe it to myself, I owe it my teammates and I owe it to the Miami Heat to stay focused," he said. "As a leader, I'm not even going to let that side of the business get me unfocused on what I'm trying to do and that's trying to win another championship.
"I'm going to try to (stop the discussion about free agency), but you always have reporters who are going to always bring it up. They're going to change the question and make it sound like something else. But it will get to a point, if I continue to hear it, where I will say, 'Hey guys, I've answered the question and out of respect, let's talk about this after the season."'
We've been down this road before, with James and other free agents. The "We'll see" is really popular. The objective is to be able to play through the season without committing to anything, because you don't want to be accused of going back on your word. James will get asked about it, but he did a decent job in 2010 in containing it, much better than Carmelo Anthony or Dwight Howard did in subsequent years.
The Heat will enter the season as the title favorites. Depending on how it goes, James could opt out, opt in, re-sign, or depart. All options are on the table. If James really doesn't want to get asked about it, simply stating his intentions might be the best way out. But really, there's no way to avoid it. It's too big a story, with too many people interested.
This is going to be the story of 2013-2014, no matter how hard James tries to avoid it.