LeBron James made his way down the ramp to exit the arena Monday night, having just completed his 20th NBA season with an unceremonious sweep out of the playoffs, not knowing if it would be the last time he would make that walk as an active player.
James himself fuelled speculation about his future in a cryptic post-game press conference, saying that he planned to take time to reflect on the next stage of his career after the Lakers’ exit.
“I got a lot to think about. Just personally, with me moving forward with the game of basketball, I got a lot to think about.”
In the post-match press conference, James said
He later confirmed what he meant by his cryptic comments and told ESPN that he would think about whether he will continue to play basketball. Having played in 20 NBA seasons till now, James hinted that he might not play in his 21st NBA season.
Asked for his reflections on the past season, in which he became the league’s all-time leading points scorer and took a rejuvenated Lakers to the brink of the NBA Finals, James said the campaign had been “challenging.”
“I don’t know. I think it was okay. I don’t like to say it’s a successful year because I don’t play for anything besides winning championships at this point in my career,” said James, who delivered a vintage 40-point performance in the Lakers’ 113-111 loss on Monday.
“I don’t get a kick out of making a Conference (finals) appearance. I’ve done it, a lot. And it’s not fun to me to not be able to be a part of getting to the Finals.
“But we’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens going forward. I don’t know. I’ve got a lot to think about to be honest.”
“Just for me personally, going forward with the game of basketball, I’ve got a lot to think about,” he added.
James signed a two-year contract extension with the Lakers last August that would keep him at the club through the 2024-2025 season.
In the wake of James’ hints at retirement, fans of the LA Lakers superstar took to social media to express their emotions. The prospect of 38-year-old calling it quits after an illustrious career, has surely sent his fans into a shock.