LeBron James Hints at Retirement After Painful NBA Playoff Exit

LeBron James Hints at Retirement After Painful NBA Playoff Exit

Edwin Kiplagat
May 23, 2023 at 10:15 AM
  • LeBron James has hinted at retirement after the Lakers lost the Western Conference finals
  • James is in his 20th NBA season and left a cryptic comment during his postgame interview
  • The 38-year-old had a phenomenal regular season but struggled with injuries throughout

LeBron James' journey to the 2023 NBA finals is over. His Los Angeles Lakers team suffered a gut-wrenching exit in the Western Conference finals after losing to the Denver Nuggets in four games in the best-of-seven series.

After the game, the 38-year-old made a cryptic comment, raising plenty of questions as he heads into the offseason.

LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, Jamal Murray, NBA, Austin Reaves, D'Angelo Russell, Nuggets,
LeBron James turns 39 in December. Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE.
Source: Getty Images

In Game 4, James was back to his old self. He finished with 40 points to go with 10 rebounds and nine assists and rested for only four seconds. That performance wasn't enough to force a Game 5 as the Lakers lost 113-111.

It has been quite a season for the Lakers and James especially. In February, he became NBA's all-time leading scorer, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had held that record since 1984. After a dreadful 2-10 start to the regular season, he led the Lakers to a 43-39 record.

Moreover, in what was his 20th NBA season, he averaged 28.9 points per game, per CBS Sports. Still, he's struggled with injuries and played only 55 games. The injury probably affected him in the postseason.

James' cryptic message in postgame

His postgame interview left many questions in the minds of basketball fans. Furthermore, his comments come hours after his close friend, Carmelo Anthony, announced his retirement from the NBA after 19 seasons.

"I got a lot to think about, to be honest. Just personally, with me moving forward with the game of basketball, I got a lot to think about," he said, via Sporting News.

James will enter his 21st NBA campaign in October, but he will turn 39 in December. Therefore, retirement could be on the horizon.

The conference finals defeat was only the third time he got swept in the NBA playoffs.

James' contract with the Lakers

The 20-year veteran signed an extension last offseason with the Lakers that keeps him with the team at least until the 2023/24 season. He has a player option worth $50.7 million for the 2024/25 campaign.

At 38, James has led the Lakers to the conference finals, meaning with a few tweaks to the roster, he could do it again.

James would play with Bronny

Sports Brief earlier reported on LeBron's ambition to play with Bronny when his son ultimately joins the NBA.

Bronny is not eligible to play in the NBA until next year under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement.

Waiting for his son to play with him in the NBA would require LeBron to continue until his 22nd NBA season.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Editor- Other Sports