After the Los Angeles Lakers made a statement in the opening round of the NBA playoffs, people began to speculate that LeBron James and his team could get another championship this year. Then the Denver Nuggets denied any chance of that happening by not allowing the Lakers even to win one game, sweeping the celebrated franchise. An exasperated James made a statement eluding that he possibly has played his last NBA game.
According to CBS News, after losing to the Nuggets, scoring 40 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and dishing out nine assists, it doesn’t sound like the stat line of someone who can’t or doesn’t want to play anymore. Yet, his statement spoke volumes and created speculation about his NBA future.
“We’ll see what happens going forward. I’ve got a lot to think about, to be honest,” James told reporters after his team lost to the Nuggets with a score of 113–111, ending the series and completing the sweep. “I don’t know. 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.”
With Carmelo Anthony just announcing his retirement, if James were to leave the game, it would leave just one of the infamous Banana Boat crew playing in the NBA. That crew consists of a retired Dwyane Wade, James, Anthony, and Chris Paul.
James recently said he would play as long as he could to play on the same team as his son, Bronny. His son has committed to playing basketball at USC. Even if he played only one year, James would have to hold off his retirement until after Bronny enters the league.
“My last year will be played with my son,” James said in February 2022. “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.”
Whether James was reacting to emotions immediately after losing the series or, loosely speaking, his decision will be big news either way.