LeBron James will be 39 before the calendar hits 2024. He is already the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, a 19-time All-NBA First Team selection, a four-time NBA MVP, and a four-time NBA champion. .
After the Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 4 loss to the Denver Nuggets, James raised the possibility of retiring before the start of the 2023-24 season. James scored 40 points in 48 minutes and had 31 of those points in the first half. Still, the Lakers fell short 113-111.
“We’ll see what happens in the future,” James said. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I have a lot to think about, to be honest. Just for me personally, going into basketball, I have a lot to think about.”
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James signed a two-year contract to return to Los Angeles. He is owed $46.9 million next season and $50.6 million in 2024-25 if he decides to keep playing through his age-40 season.
With injuries hitting the superstar forward the past two seasons, James talked about being available to be on the court.
“It’s about availability for me and keeping my mind sharp, and things of that nature,” he said. “Being on the floor, being in the locker room and on bus rides and plane rides, things of that nature. It’s challenging, for sure. It was a very challenging season for me, for our baseball club, and obviously we know what that happened early on (in the Lakers’ 2-10 season opener). It was cool, a pretty cool ride.”
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James finished the regular season averaging 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. He has not played in more than 60 games since the 2019-20 season in which the league ended up going to a bubble format due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was his last championship.
“I think I’ll reflect on my career when it’s over, but I don’t know,” he said. “The only thing that worries me is being available to my teammates, and I don’t like the fact that I didn’t play as many games as I would have liked due to injury. That’s the only thing that matters to me, is being available to my teammates.”
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James has made it clear that he wants to play with his son when he enters the league. Bronny James will have at least another year before turning pro.
Associated Press contributed to this report.