LeBron James pondering retirement after 20 seasons in the NBA
While it seemed like LeBron James might’ve been destined to play basketball forever, the NBA’s greatest player of a generation could be calling it a career.
In the moments following the Los Angeles Lakers’ elimination from the NBA playoffs on Monday evening, James admitted to multiple sources privately and publicly that he’s pondering retirement.
LeBron on the future: "I've got a lot to think about… Just for me personally going forward with the game of basketball, I've got a lot to think about" pic.twitter.com/MXqhuEWJly
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) May 23, 2023
“I’ve got a lot to think about,” James said at the end of his postgame press conference following a Game 4 Western Conference Finals loss to the Denver Nuggets. “Just for me personally going forward with the game of basketball, I’ve got a lot to think about.”
“James is uncertain if he’ll be with the team when the 2023-24 NBA season starts in the fall, and retirement is under consideration, league sources tell Bleacher Report, TNT,” Chris Haynes reported.
Meanwhile, James spoke to ESPN and said that he’s “got to think about it” when it comes to continuing his career.
LeBron James to ESPN on his thought process going into the offseason:
Q: When you say you got to think about stuff, what thread should we be pulling on that?
A: "If I want to continue to play."
Q: As in next year?
Q: You would walk away?
A: "I got to think about it."
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 23, 2023
Though he was still able to play at a high level this past season at age 38, James was battling an ongoing foot injury through the course of a surprising playoff run with the Lakers, who qualified via the Play-In Tournament.
Over the course of his career with the Lakers, Miami Heat, and Cleveland Cavaliers, James averaged 27.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists in 1,421 regular-season games, while he was selected to play in 19 All-Star games in his 20 seasons in the league.
But if there’s a number that rules his career, it’s four: four MVP awards, four Finals MVP awards and four NBA championships, having won two titles with the Heat and one with both the Cavaliers and Lakers.
The first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft out of St. Vincent—St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, James’ career also includes two Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012 with Team USA.
James has long expressed his desire to play in the NBA either with or against his son — LeBron “Bronny” James Jr. — who is entering his freshman year at the University of Southern California this fall and is expected to be a possible NBA draft pick in 2024, which has led many to speculate a “retirement” would merely be a season off before a return for one last hurrah.
For now, it’s time for one more waiting game about James’ future to see where exactly “The King” ends up next year.
- You might also like:
- Steve Nash meets with Raptors to discuss coaching job: report