LeBron James Considers Retirement After Lakers' Sweep
| LAST UPDATE 05/25/2023
After an incredible 20-year career, LeBron James has hinted that his time in the NBA could be coming to an end. This follows the Los Angeles Lakers' disappointing exit from the Western Conference Finals after being swept out by the Denver Nuggets, with a disappointing 113-111 loss in Game 4.
“We’ll see what happens going forward. I don’t know,” the NBA’s all-time leading scorer said to reporters post-game. “Just for me, personally, going forward with the game of basketball, I’ve got a lot to think about.” ESPN's Dave McMenamin further elaborated on James' comments, revealing that retirement is under consideration. When pushed about walking away next year, James added that he'd have to think about it. The Lakers star has one year left in his contract with the team after signing a two-year contract extension prior to the season.
This news comes as a surprise after James previously expressed his desire to play his final NBA season alongside his son Bronny James in an interview with The Athletic in 2022. "My last year will be played with my son," James said. "Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point." Despite the loss and his postgame comments, James' Game 4 performance showed that the 20-year veteran could easily continue his stellar career if he wished to play with Bronny. He played all 48 minutes, scored 40 points on 15-of-25 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out nine assists in an all-encompassing performance. However, the individual brilliance of James wasn't enough to prevent the Nuggets from advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. Nikola Jokić had another standout series for Denver and was awarded the Magic Johnson Western Conference Finals MVP trophy. In Game 4, the 'Joker' was at his all-around best, with 30 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 assists. His latest triple-double also meant that Jokić broke Wilt Chamberlain's 1967 record of the most triple-doubles in a playoff run – the Serbian star adding his eighth of the postseason.
The Nuggets can now look forward to the NBA Finals as they wait to see who wins between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. As for LeBron James, the basketball world awaits his decision on whether he will retire or keep playing. Whatever he decides, his impact on the game will never be forgotten.