The uncertain future of LeBron James | Sports

Every season finale in the NBA a question begins to travel the league. How much time does LeBron James have left? This week it has been the 38-year-old star who has played with the possibility of leaving the courts after 20 seasons. “Let’s see what happens next. Don’t know. I have a lot to think about, to be honest, about what it is for me to continue playing basketball,” the Lakers player confessed after the Denver Nuggets swept his team resoundingly 4-0 in the NBA Finals. Western Conference.

James’ words have triggered a wave of rumors. It is not the first time that the star tests the waters of retirement. The ESPN chain asked him to clarify his words after a press conference in which he was open to reflecting on the future. “What does he mean when he says he wants to think things over?” A reporter from the sports network asked him. “If I want to continue playing… I have to think about it,” the forward replied.

Many in the Lakers’ locker room believe it’s something without a solid foundation. James himself explained that his level of play is still above “90 or 95%” of NBA players. A sample was the last game against Denver at home. Despite being knocked out, James only spent four seconds on the bench in the entire match. He scored 40 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had nine assists in his best performance in the last 10 games.

“It would be pretty crazy to see him say goodbye to the sport, especially when I think he still has more in the tank,” said teammate D’Angelo Russell. “I don’t see it… with those numbers it’s clear that he still has a lot in him to give a couple more years,” added Dennis Schröder, German point guard for the Los Angeles team.

In what was the farewell to the season, the leadership of the Los Angeles organization stated that in the coming days they will discuss the issue with LeBron. “He has given more to basketball than many others, and when you achieve that you earn the right to decide if you are going to give more,” said Rob Pelinka, the team’s manager. Lakers coach Darvin Ham, who wrapped up his first year as head coach, said the mainstay of the team should do what “makes him feel most comfortable.”

James became the all-time leading scorer in the NBA regular season this season, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. With four championships won, he admitted this week that he just keeps playing to win more rings. For now, the Lakers continue to give him that option by still having two more years on his contract. The franchise will pay him $46.9 million in the 2023-2024 season and has signed a $50.6 million extension option for the next season. To leave now would be to leave nearly $100 million on the table.

match your child

If he retires, the athlete would also give up one of his few dreams to achieve, which is to coincide in a season in the NBA with his son Bronny. The eldest son of the family signed this year with the team of the University of Southern California. He is expected to be available for the draft of the NBA in 2024.

Some analysts believe that LeBron’s words were a coded message to the leadership of the Lakers with the intention that they build him around him, and together with Anthony Davis, a team with which he is capable of winning the fifth ring and extending his legacy. The Lakers turned the season that is ending thanks to a series of transfers that arrived at the close of the term. The future is up in the air for many of the players who propelled the franchise to the conference finals. The continuity of Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura and Russell himself, who performed less than expected in the series against Nikola Jokic’s Nuggets, is in doubt. James wants certainties before starting his 21st season in the NBA.

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