NBA Rumor: LeBron James Retirement?

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LeBron James: 'I can play a couple more years'

Clutch Points: “I know for sure. I can play a couple more years… Try to compete for championships, that’s something I feel like I can still do for any group of guys, for any franchise I can go out there and still help win multiple championships.” – LeBron James 👀

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LeBron James wants to play into 40s alongside both sons

Despite being one of the league’s elder statesman, there doesn’t appear to be any slowing down for LeBron James anytime soon.  LeBron has repeatedly voiced his desire to play with his older son, Bronny, but now James is voicing his desire to play alongside younger son Bryce as well. “I like to throw things out in the airwaves, but I’m not one to [say] what’s going to happen in the next two to three years,” LeBron told Sports Illustrated. “I am a visionary, but I’m also a guy that lives in the moment. I’d definitely be looking at who got first-round picks in 2024, 2025, things of that nature; 2026, ’27. I pay attention to that type of stuff.”

When asked specifically if he could see himself playing not just with Bronny, but also with Bryce, James made it clear that it’s something he’s thought about—depending on how his body and mind feel. “I feel like I could play for quite a while. So it’s all up to the body, but more importantly, my mind,” LeBron told SI. “If my mind can stay sharp and fresh and motivated, then the sky’s not even the limit for me. I can go beyond that. But we shall see.”

LeBron James: I'll continue to be the ambassador of the league until I'm done playing

Carrying the torch of what the NBA is currently and aims to be in the future is almost as tough a task as saving a franchise, or resurrecting one, or assimilating into one — and James has done all three while being “That Guy.” “I’ve held that title of ambassador,” James said. “Nobody told me to do it, but I felt like if I wasn’t gonna do it, who was gonna do it? So I took that responsibility, and I’ll continue to do it till I’m done playing the game.”

“It’s a responsibility for sure,” James said. “Somebody did it before me. And putting it in a position to [keep] it where it was and make it better than it was. Represent the league with the utmost respect. There’s so many generations that look for inspiration. And it’s always cool to see guys who come into our league, and he said, favorite player growing up is LeBron James. That means something to me, because I feel like [it] has so much more to do than just playing the game of basketball.”

Adam Silver: I'm not prepared to talk about the post-LeBron era

“I want to be absolutely clear. I am not prepared to talk about the post-LeBron era,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Yahoo Sports recently. “And I don’t think it’s because I’m in denial. He won a championship less than a year and a half ago. From my standpoint, LeBron is still playing at the very highest level in the league. “At some point, a new player or players will emerge, I think, [to] take that leadership mantle in the league. It seems they always do. I’m just not prepared, even in the slightest, to start thinking about the league without LeBron, because he continues to be as committed as ever to the competition, to the league overall.”

LeBron James on retirement after reaching 36,000 career points: “When that time comes, I’ll be OK with it”

After Los Angeles’ much-needed win vs. Houston, LeBron was asked when he might hang up the Nikes and retire. His answer: “I know I’m on the other side of the hill, compared to the hill I was on before. I know that. But, I mean, I’ve thought about it — where I’m at with it. I’m still playing at such a high level, I haven’t given it too much thought. But I’m in Year 19 and I’m not gonna do another 19. So I’m definitely not halfway in my career. I’m on the other side of the hill. So, we’ll see where the game takes me. We’ll see where my body takes me and my mind. As long as my mind stays fresh and my body stays with that, I can play the game. But, in the end, the game will tell you. Your body will tell you. Your mind will tell you. I’ve put in enough hours and punched enough clocks where, when that time comes, I’ll be OK with it.”
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LeBron James hopes to retire a Laker

On a recent edition of the “Smartless,” podcast, James’ legendary father said he hopes to retire as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. “I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers,” James said on the podcast, according to CBS Sports. “However many years that is, if it’s four, five, six, whatever, seven. I hope I can continue to play the game. I love being in L.A., my family loves being in L.A. Being with a historical franchise like the Lakers is something … It’s like me being in ‘Space Jam’ — I never thought it would be possible. You think about Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), and Magic (Johnson), and Wilt (Chamberlin), and Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, Kobe (Bryant), (Shaquille O’Neal) and all of them. The whole list goes on.”

There’s a reason you’re reading about so many Lakers possibilities these days — with our Shams Charania’s Sunday report revealing the latest — and it has everything to do with the internal urgency that is driving their movements at the moment. Never mind that the people closest to him can envision him playing past his 40th birthday, or that he still has two seasons left on his current contract, the harsh truth is that James won’t be an MVP-caliber player forever.

While predicting the future can be rather pointless work, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss is willing to keep Bron however long he wants to play whether it’s two more years or 7. Here’s what she said in a chat with ESPN: “It is like a really good match. We want him to stay around as long as he wants to stay around. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played till he was 42. LeBron said something the other day how he probably won’t play when he’s 46. So maybe somewhere between now and 46, so another 10 years, whatever he wants to do. We love having him, I have to say he drafted a really good All-Star team yesterday. He knows basketball, he’s competitive. We’re having a lot of fun having him around, the one thing that’s missing are the fans.”

Drake said: “I think maybe one of my biggest concerns in my career is just to figure out how to exit gracefully. I’ve watched people overstay their welcome, and I just don’t ever want to be that guy that’s addicted to the feeling of victory, addicted to the emotion of people digesting something that they love. And get to a point where I’m feeding them something and they’re just like, ‘Yeah ….” To which LeBron responded: “What helps with the gracefully bowing out is having people around you that were there from the Day 1. That seen you from the beginning … You can’t have mother(expletive) around you that don’t keep it honest with you, that don’t keep it real with you. You gotta have someone to tell you like, ‘Yo, either accept a lesser role or you gotta tank.'”

While James has been able to stay a dominant player for well over a decade, he sees advancements in medical technology and nutrition programs allowing players to extend their careers longer than ever before. “I think with the science and the research and the ability to have multiple trainers and things of that nature and also guys taking the individual account of their own bodies, guys are able to play into their late 30s and some into their 40s as you’re seeing today,” James said. “You got Andre Miller, you got Timmy D (Tim Duncan) who are playing into their 40s. And I played with Ray Allen late in his 30s … (Guys are) playing into their late 30s because of the technology and also guys are taking care of their body and understanding, ‘Yeah, we can play beyond what the expectancy is of our sport.’ So, I think it’s a pretty cool thing. We got guys that are 36 on our team and you look at RJ (Richard Jefferson), he is in better shape than anyone on our team. And you got James Jones as well. So, I think it’s been great to be around guys like that.”
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Austin Reaves talked about the most influential guys he had an opportunity to play with in Los Angeles. Rajon Rondo’s name was quickly pointed out loud. “I learned the most from Rondo. … I was always in his ear, asking questions,” Reaves underlined. “It got to a point where I was asking him so many questions where I was like, damn, if was him, I would be annoyed. I told him, ‘If I ever ask you a question and you don’t wanna answer, just tell me to f**k off.’ Simple.”