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LeBron James ends (self-created) retirement speculation

He said in May said he had "a lot to think about" when weighing his future in the NBA. On Wednesday, he revealed he's returning for a 21st season.
LeBron James ends (self-created) retirement speculation
Posted at 6:36 AM, Jul 13, 2023

After the Denver Nuggets eliminated the Los Angeles Lakers from the postseason in May, LeBron James discussed retirement in cryptic terms. 

After the loss, James said he was unsure what the future looks like for him and the Lakers. 

“We'll see. We'll see what happens going forward. I don't know. I don't know,” James said. “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.”

On Wednesday, he ended any speculation on whether he would retire. James said at the ESPN ESPY awards he would be back for a 21st NBA season. 

“I don’t care how many more points I can score or what I can or can’t do on the floor,” James said. “The real question for me is can I play without cheating this game? The day I can’t play without giving everything on the floor is the day I’ll be done. Lucky for you guys, that day is not today.”

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James was at the ESPY Awards to be honored for surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career scoring record. James is now the highest-scoring NBA player ever. 

James, 38, has hinted that he would play until he was 40, as his oldest son Bronny is eligible to enter the league in 2024. James told The Athletic last year he wants to play with his son. James signed a two-year agreement with the Lakers in 2022, giving him flexibility as a free agent in 2024, Bronny James’ draft year. 

Bronny James is committed to playing at USC this fall. 

For the third straight season, James battled injuries throughout the year. He missed 27 regular season games for the Lakers in 2022-23. Despite injuries to him and fellow All-Star Anthony Davis, the Lakers battled out of being out of playoff position to grab the No. 7-seed via the play-in game. 

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