Somewhat shockingly, LeBron James told ESPN on Monday that he is contemplating retirement this offseason.
“I’ve got to think about it,” James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
Up until now, there hadn’t been any buzz that the 2022-23 season could be James’ last, but ESPN’s Marc J. Spears told Papa & Lund on Tuesday that he believes the NBA’s all-time leading scorer isn’t bluffing.
“I believe it to be true,” Spears said on KNBR. “I’m reading the tea leaves a little bit, he had his producers that filmed The Last Dance, it was actually Klay Thompson’s uncle, following him around during these playoffs and during the season. So you don’t do that unless you’re thinking about walking away. Why else are you interested in them filming your every move?
“I did find it interesting that Maverick Carter, his business confidant, was going on the road. I saw him at the Warriors games, saw him at more games. He’s 38 years old, your kid just signed to play with USC, you’ve missed a lot of things that your kids are doing. You start thinking about that, I mean maybe he would love to go to all his son’s games at USC. Maybe he would love to go to all his younger son’s high school games, being more sentimental.”
While maybe not the perennial MVP candidate that he’s been for the better part of two decades, LeBron is still one of the best players in the NBA, and averaged 27-9-10 in the series vs. the Nuggets.
It’s possible James wants to retire on top, rather than start to significantly regress.
“When you’re LeBron James, to walk away and say ‘Man, I had 40 in my last game,’ that’s a statement,” Spears said. “You’ll always remember him that way. You can’t help but think that the fatigue factor is hitting him and how do you want to be remembered?
“I don’t think he’s flubbing on this,” Spears concluded. “I’m sure his body will tell him what to do, but if he’s played his last game, and he got the record for all-time [scorer’, what really more does he need to do?”