LeBron James ‘IS considering retiring from basketball after Lakers were dumped out of NBA playoffs’
LeBron James may have played his final NBA game after 20 years and is considering retirement, according to bombshell reports on Tuesday morning.
The NBA superstar made headlines with his comments after the Lakers were swept by the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, with the legendary forward admitting ‘I got a lot to think about’.
And now Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reports that James is indeed considering calling it a day, and if he does carry it over he is uncertain it will be with the Lakers.
James still has two years and $97 million remaining on his current contract, but the final year is a player option and he could opt to forgo the cash and call it a day.
Speaking after the Lakers’ defeat, which saw them bomb out 4-0 to the Nuggets, James said: ‘I’ve got a lot to think about. Just personally, with me moving forward with the game of basketball, I got a lot to think about.
LeBron James is reportedly considering retirement after Lakers were dumped out of playoffs
It was a feisty end to the 2022-23 season for James, who has now played 20 years in the league.
¿I got a lot to think about¿ Just personally with me moving forward with the game of basketball¿ I got a lot to think about.¿
LeBron considering retirement??? ,
— LakeShowYo (@LakeShowYo) May 23, 2023
If he did call it quits, LeBron would leave the court with the all-time scoring record having overtaken Kareem Abdul-Jabbar earlier this season.
He would also lead the playoff scoring records, having opened a 2,036-point gap between himself and nearest rival Michael Jordan.
James has played 20 seasons in the NBA, starting with seven years in Cleveland after he was drafted first overall in 2003 by the Cavaliers.
He then went on to the Miami Heat, where he won his first two NBA titles, before heading back to Cleveland to win his third.
In 2018, he moved to the Lakers and won his fourth ring in a Covid-affected 2020.
In addition to the titles, he also has four NBA Finals MVP awards, and is a four-time NBA MVP.
At the age of 38, retirement is certainly looming, but it would come as something of a surprise for LeBron to call it a day now, with his son Bronny soon to be heading into the league.
LeBron has previously made it very clear that he wishes to play alongside his eldest son, who recently committed to playing college basketball for USC.
James and the Los Angeles Lakers were swept by the Nikola Jokic-led Nuggets on Monday night
Earlier in 2023, James overtook Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (pictured) for the all-time scoring record.
However, the superstar may have softened his stance a little as he revealed he would support Bronny even if he didn’t want them to play together in the NBA as a father-son duo.
‘I’ve done what I’ve had to do in this league, and my son is going to take his journey,’ he said following the Lakers’ Game 3 loss Saturday.
‘And whatever his journey, however his journey lays out, he’s going to do what’s best for him. And as his dad, and his mom, Savannah, and his brother and sister, we’re going to support him in whatever he decides to do. So, just because that’s my aspiration or my goal, doesn’t mean it’s his. And I’m absolutely OK with that.
LeBron hinted he was unsure about his NBA future Monday night as he delivered a cryptic response to questions about his life on court following LA’s elimination at the hands of the Nuggets.
We’ll see what happens going forward. But I don’t know,’ James said. ‘I don’t know. I’ve got a lot to think about, to be honest. I got a lot to think about,’ James said after scoring 40 points as the Lakers dropped Game 4 to the Nuggets, officially ending their season with a sweep.
‘Just personally with me moving forward with the game of basketball… I got a lot to think about.’
LeBron has previously made it very clear that he wishes to play alongside his son Bronny (R).
LeBron hinted he was unsure about his NBA future Monday night after LA’s elimination
The future Hall of Famer now enters the off-season weighing both his future with the Lakers and a potential 21st NBA season.
He said: ‘It was a very challenging season for me, for our ball club… it was a pretty cool ride, but I don’t know… I don’t get a kick out of making a conference appearance. I’ve done it a lot and it’s not fun to me to not be apart of getting to the Finals.’
LeBron still had a strong season, his 20th in the league, earning a spot on the All-NBA Third Team.
He played in all 17 of the Lakers’ playoff games, including the play-in matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves, despite still managing a right foot injury that caused him to miss a month late in the regular season.
He revealed that surgery could be an option this summer after having it examined during the offseason.
LeBron still had a strong season, his 20th, earning a spot on the All-NBA Third Team
‘I’m going to get an MRI on it and see how the tendon is either healed or not healed and go from there,’ eh told ESPN. ‘We’ll see what happens.’
The 19-time All-Star averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while rallying the Lakers from a 2-10 start and landing them in the Western Conference Finals.
Meanwhile, LA has $29.6 million in practical cap space entering the 2023 season, according to Spotrac.
There’s currently only six players officially contracted to the Lakers for the 2023-24 season, including James, Anthony Davis, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba.