‘I have a lot to think about,’ LeBron James says of the future of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals.
The Lakers are now without a championship for the third straight year, and James’ post-game comments have fueled speculation that he might be planning to retire.
“We’ll wait and see what happens next. I’m not sure, James, 38, remarked.
To be honest, I have a lot on my mind.
After 20 seasons in the league, during which he broke countless records, the star forward is perhaps the biggest name in the sport.
Prior to guiding the Cleveland Cavaliers to their lone NBA championship in team history in 2016, the four-time NBA champion won two championships with the Miami Heat.
He subsequently led the Lakers to the 2020 championship, earning himself a fourth consecutive Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
The two-time Olympic champion has 10 NBA Finals appearances, four MVP awards during the regular season, and two gold medals.
In February, he surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s illustrious record of 38,387 points, which he had set in 1989, to become the NBA’s all-time top scorer.
But following Monday’s loss, in which he finished with 40 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists after scoring 31 points in the first half, he called the season “challenging”.
“I’m not sure. It was probably ok. At this stage in my career, I don’t play for anything other than winning titles, so I don’t like to claim it’s been a successful year,” he added.
“I don’t find enjoyment in competing in conference [finals]. I frequently engage in it. And being unable to participate in making it to the Finals is not enjoyable for me.
“For me, it’s all about being available, keeping my mind sharp, and other such things, like being present on the field, in the locker room, and on bus and airplane flights, among other such things. It’s difficult.
We’ll see, though. We shall see. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
James extended his deal with the Lakers by two years in August of last year, keeping him with the team through the 2024–2025 campaign.
He has long said that he wants to continue playing so that he might face off against or play with his oldest son Bronny, who will play collegiate basketball at the University of Southern California next year and who might make the NBA in time for the 2024–2025 season.
James was “definitely hinting” at retirement, The Athletic’s LA Lakers writer Jovan Buha stated on the BBC’s Newsday show.
“LeBron did it on his own. He was asked to consider his season from a personal standpoint, but he faltered and muttered things like “we’ll see” and “I have a lot to think about,” according to Buha.
Even while he didn’t state it directly, there was obviously a hint at retirement. It actually surprises me because everything we have heard over the past year has been the complete opposite, with discussion of LeBron playing in the future.
LeBron’s statement truly surprised a lot of people because it is obvious that he wants to play with or against his son Bronny James, who is attending USC and aiming to enter the NBA.
“I don’t believe he will retire. Since there is so much evidence to the contrary, it occurred to me that perhaps this was really a situation where he was venting and communicating his thoughts in the present.