Is LeBron James over? ‘You have to think a lot’
LeBron James opted out of the Western Conference Finals on Monday night before hinting that his 21st season in the NBA was in doubt.
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“I have a lot to think about, to be honest,” James said, repeating the sentence twice. “Just me, personally, with basketball, I have a lot to think about.”
James had 40 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in Game 4, but missed a rebound and had a layup blocked to tie the game on the final two possessions of a 113-111 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
THE Lakers He built a double-digit lead in the first half, but lost it in the fourth quarter, sweeping the Nuggets out of the Western Conference finals. James was reflective and took a broad perspective on the loss as he considered whether he could consider the season a success given the challenges. Lakers defeated to advance to the conference finals
“For me, it’s all about availability. It’s a challenge for sure,” he said. “It’s been a very challenging season. It’s been a really cool run, but I don’t know. I don’t play for anything other than winning championships. I don’t get a kick out of being in the conference. A lot. It’s not fun for me not to be a part of the finals.”
James said Monday there was no intentional gray area in his statement that he had to think about much, and went on to clarify: “If I want to continue playing. I have to think about it.”
James has two years, $97 million, left on his contract, but the second year is open to appeal.
The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, James passed Michael Jordan as the NBA’s leading scorer in the playoffs and has four NBA championships. He led the Lakers for the 2020 NBA title on the playoff bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic
Before Monday, James raised the possibility of playing on the same team with his son, Bronny, who is a likely member of the 2024 draft class.
James turns 39 on December 30th and has shown no signs of slowing down statistically. He played in 55 regular season games due to a foot injury, averaging 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists in the 2022-2023 regular season.
— Field Level Media