The Nuggets didn’t just eliminate the Lakers from the postseason on Monday night — they may have ended LeBron James’ career too.
After getting swept by the Denver Nuggets, the Los Angeles Lakers joined 26 other teams in beginning their offseason on Monday night. Like many teams that were bounced before the Finals, they have a number of decisions to make this summer, as they have just six players under contract for next season, but the biggest decision is one that’s out of their hands.
In his postgame press conference, LeBron James concluded his talk with the media by offering some cryptic remarks about his future, saying he has “a lot to think about” with regards to his basketball future. James is dealing with a foot injury that he opted against having surgery on to make the playoff run he did, and after 20 seasons and becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, there is apparently some doubt creeping into his mind about whether he wants to continue his career, as Chris Haynes reported following Monday’s loss.
Lakers star LeBron James is uncertain if he’ll be with the team when the 2023-24 season starts in the fall, and retirement is under consideration, league sources tell Bleacher Report, TNT.
James also confirmed that retirement is a possibility to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin as he left the arena.
LeBron James to ESPN on his thought process going into the offseason:
Q: When you say you got to think about stuff, what thread should we be pulling on that?
A: "If I want to continue to play."
Q: As in next year?
Q: You would walk away?
A: "I got to think about it."
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 23, 2023
LeBron has gone on record dozens of times about his desire to play with Bronny, who just committed to go to USC next fall, and to do so, James would need to play two more years (which is the length remaining on his current Lakers contract). That’s why it is jarring to hear that retirement is under consideration, but then again, this is a 38-year-old coming off his 20th season and dealing with a foot injury.
He has climbed the mountain again and again, and after this latest effort and with the Lakers’ ability to build a contender around him at this point a bit murky, James is at least wondering if it’s worth coming back for another try.
LeBron James told @mcten that he will consider retirement this offseason. pic.twitter.com/X7mlBz1mfr
— ESPN (@espn) May 23, 2023