LeBron James stirs the ghost of his retirement after the sweep of the Nuggets | Sports

LeBron James, during a moment of the fourth game against the Denver Nuggets.
LeBron James, during a moment of the fourth game against the Denver Nuggets.Associated Press/LaPresse (APS)

LeBron James wanted to talk about eliminating the Lakers. But the journalists wanted to talk about the future in the first press conference offered after the sweep of the Denver Nuggets. Of his future. The sports press witnessed a great moment of reflection from one of the legends of the NBA. “Let’s see what happens next. Don’t know. I have a lot to think about, to be honest about what it means for me to continue playing basketball, ”she confessed at the end of the appearance, the star who this year took the all-time scoring record. The player’s words have caused a dust storm in Los Angeles. Is James suggesting that retirement may be his next step?

The journalists asked him to assess what has been his 20th season in the league. James suffered on Monday what has been his third sweep in a playoff series. The first time he lost four games in a row was when he was wearing Cleveland’s jersey in the 2007 final against the San Antonio Spurs. The second against Golden State in 2018. “I think I can reflect on my career once it’s over. For now, I’ll leave that to you,” LeBron replied.

The Lakers star wanted to talk about Nikola Jokic and the machine that had just overwhelmed them. “I already knew before the series started that we were going to face a beast… Everyone talks about his stats, but I think few talk about his mental capacity for the games. It is normal that little is said about it because not everyone understands it. I do. He is a special player,” he added.

At 38, LeBron seemed to change gears when asked about Carmelo Anthony. The veteran forward chose the same day that the Western conference was defined to announce his retirement from the courts. “It leaves me with a bittersweet taste. He is one of my best friends in the league, in fact since before we got there, ”said James, who claimed that he already knew about the announcement because he was the one who took the video with which the Knicks star said goodbye. .

Melo will turn 39 on Monday and was one of the few NBA players in the 2003 draft. James is now the only representative of that generation. And he champions her with an enviable physical feat. Anthony averaged 26 minutes of play last season. This Monday, the Lakers star played 47:56 minutes of the 48 of the game. He scored 40 points in what was his best performance in his last 10 games. Despite that, he was eliminated.

So much talk about the end, that James closed by saying that it is not fun for him not to reach a final. “I can’t say that, at this point in my career, I’m playing for anything other than winning championships,” he confessed. “But we’ll see, we’ll see. Let’s see what happens later. Don’t know. I have a lot to think about, to be honest, what it’s like for me to keep going playing basketball. I have a lot to think about,” James said in what were his last statements of the season.

These words, and above all doubts, have started the rumor mill of American sports. The player still has a two-year contract with the Los Angeles team, about 97.1 million dollars. In February he said that he would not leave the courts until he had the opportunity to play in the NBA along with his eldest son, Bronny, who this year signed with the University of Southern California team in the collegiate league.

This Tuesday, Rob Pelinka, the Lakers’ manager, and the team’s coach, Darvin Ham, tried to downplay LeBron’s statements. “He has given more to basketball than many others, and when you achieve that you gain the right to decide if you are going to contribute more,” said Pelinka, the architect of the team reaching the conference final thanks to the signing of players. The injection of new blood made a team that started with two wins and ten losses aspire to the title. Darvin Ham, who finished his first year as head coach, also added that the star “has the right to do what makes him feel most comfortable.” Pelinka and Ham will speak with James in the coming days.

Some analysts have interpreted LeBron’s words as a coded message to management. Time is running out as he searches for the fifth ring from him. Pelinka and Ham must build a roster that will help him and Anthony Davis cherish a new trophy. The team must take action to keep players who have worked in the postseason, such as Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, on the roster. Both have said Tuesday that they want to stay in Los Angeles, but their performance in upcoming games now makes them attractive to other teams. In LeBron the urgency meets the hunger to win.

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