LeBron James may have played his last basketball game. After 20 seasons in the NBA, James is now closer to retirement than ever.
In his press conference after the Denver Nuggets game, LeBron indicated that now that the season was over for the Lakers, he would consider his options, with retirement being one of them.
Even though the four-time NBA winner is under contract with the Lakers for next season, he has the freedom to decide what he will do next.
Can Still Play at a High Level
As the Lakers were swept out of the playoffs by the impressive Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, fans in Los Angeles had to come to terms with another terrifying possibility – a future without LeBron James.
The 38-year-old has shown some signs of slowing down and becoming more injury prone in recent years. However, despite being in the league for two decades, James’ performances haven’t suffered that much.
The 40 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists he recorded against the Nuggets in Game 4 illustrate that. The fact James broke set another personal record in the same game by scoring 31 points in the first two quarters also shows that he is still capable of playing at the highest level.
A Challenging Season
The Lakers star said that it was all about availability and keeping his mind sharp when reflecting on a “challenging” season. After the 2-10 start to NBA 2022/23, the LA Lakers had no choice but to go full throttle to reach the playoffs which James claimed was “a pretty cool ride.”
However, that didn’t mean he was happy with how things went. He said that he didn’t think it was a successful year, as he didn’t play for “anything besides winning championships.”
James added that getting to the conference finals and losing was not something that he got “a kick out of” because he has been in the game for so long that only winning the NBA Finals would do.
Retirement is on the Cards
However, like it or not, James’ final game of his career may be a loss in a conference final. When he was asked what he will do next, James said that he would see what happens going forward, adding that he needed to think about it.
After the press conference finished, Chris Haynes from TNT and Dave McMenamin from ESPN reportedly asked James:
“When you say you got to think about stuff, what thread should we be pulling on that?”
James replied: “If I want to continue to play.”
ESPN asked: “As in next year?”
And James said: “Yeah.”
The reporters then asked: “You would walk away?”
James confirmed he was seriously considering his future and replied: “I got to think about it.”
One thing that might make LeBron stay in the league is his longstanding desire to play alongside Bronny James, his son. The earliest Bronny can join the NBA is at the start of the 2024/25 season.