LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers' Game 4 loss to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals on Monday night brought an end to LeBron James' 20th season in the NBA.
And with that, possibly his career.
Speaking with reporters after the game, the 38-year-old James said that he has "a lot to think about" regarding his basketball career moving forward. According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the four-time MVP later confirmed that he was, in fact, referring to the possibility that he could retire in the offseason ahead.
Despite having already amassed an unprecedented career in his two decades in the league, James retiring this offseason would come as somewhat of a surprise. Last offseason, the four-time NBA champion signed a two-year extension with the Lakers, which will keep him under contract with the team through the 2023-24 season and includes a player option for the following year.
Additionally, James has on multiple occasions expressed his desire to play alongside his son, Bronny James, who recently signed to spend his college career that the University of Southern California. Following his freshman year during the 2023-24 season, the younger James would be eligible to enter the 2024 NBA Draft -- the same offseason that his father can next become a free agent.
“My last year will be played with my son,” the James told Jason Lloyd of The Athletic during the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland last year. “Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point.”
With Bronny still a year away from potentially entering the league, however, the possibility exists that the older James could play sit out, or play an abbreviated version of the 2023-24 campaign.
Should James, in fact, retire, it would bring an end to one of the greatest careers in NBA history. Earlier this year, the Akron native and 19-time All-Star became the league's all-time leading scorer, surpassing the record that was previously held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.