NBA Rumor: LeBron James Retirement?

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LeBron James hopes to retire a Laker

2 months ago via
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.”

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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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September 27, 2021 | 8:29 am EDT Update
After weeks of conversation with James, Davis and then-Lakers forward Jared Dudley, who emerged as a sort of consigliere to the Lakers’ superstars in these meetings, Westbrook believed he was on his way to L.A. For years he had angled to get home, and now everything was lining up for it to finally happen. There was only one problem: The Lakers’ efforts to complete the fairytale had been repeatedly stymied by the Wizards’ refusal to make Westbrook available because, sources said, they still planned on moving forward with the Westbrook-Beal backcourt. Westbrook, for his part, would have played out the remaining two seasons on his deal if a trade hadn’t materialized. “No one thought that Russ would get out,” said one source close to the discussions.
On Sunday, the Lakers reached agreement on a two-year deal with guard Austin Reaves, converting his two-way contract to a standard NBA deal ahead of training camp. The Lakers will have a team option on the second year of Reaves‘ contract, sources said. Reaves, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, has impressed the Lakers throughout the offseason and had a strong showing at James’ minicamp. James and Westbrook even had the rookie conduct some fun-loving errands throughout the weekend in Vegas.
Sources said Pelinka and his front-office group strongly considered executing a sign-and-trade for the 32-year-old DeRozan, giving up Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope in the process, but couldn’t come to consensus terms with the Spurs in free agency or a suitable contract number for DeRozan. What’s more, sources say the DeRozan option never advanced to the point that it was presented to Buss.