Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBon James attempts a shot against the Denver Nuggets during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals Monday at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
May 23 (UPI) -- LeBron James will consider retirement this off-season after the Los Angeles Lakers were swept out of the playoffs by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference finals, he told reporters.
James discussed his future briefly during his postgame news conference Monday in Los Angeles. The Nuggets beat the Lakers 113-111 in Game 4 and are headed to the NBA Finals. James scored 40 points in the loss.
"We'll see what happens going forward," James said. "I don't know. I don't know. I've got a lot to think about, to be honest. I
"Just for me ,personally, going forward with the game of basketball, I've got a lot to think about."
James, 38, just completed his 20th season. He cited his availability, keeping his mind sharp and being present in the locker room and on team road trips as "challenging" components of playing.
He later elaborated on his comments in an interview with ESPN, telling the network that he hasn't decided if he will return in 2023-24.
James previously said he wanted to continue playing until he could play alongside his oldest son, Bronny, on an NBA team. He told reporters earlier this postseason that he would be "OK" if that aspiration didn't align with his son's goals.
Bronny, 18, announced earlier this month that he committed to play at the University of Southern California.
James averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game over 55 appearances this season for the Lakers.
The 19-time All-Star and All-NBA selection, four-time champion and four-time MVP holds the NBA record for career points. James ranks No. 4 all time in assists, No. 9 in steals and No. 10 in defensive rebounds.
He also ranks No. 2 in made field goals and field goal attempts. His 65,747 combined regular-season and postseason minutes played rank No. 2 in NBA history, just 550 minutes behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
James entered the league as the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. Fellow 2003 draftee Carmelo Anthony, who did not play in 2022-23, announced his retirement Monday. James would be the only active player from that draft class if he chooses to play in 2023-24.
The Lakers signed James to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension in September. He is set to make $46.9 million next season and has a player option for $50.6 million in 2024-25.
LeBron James when he was a high school senior playing basketball at the James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio, on February 14, 2003. Photo by Tom Cammett/UPI | License Photo