LeBron James acknowledges he’s nearing the end of his NBA career: ‘I don’t have much time left’


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LeBron James did something on Sunday that he’s done many times in his 21-year NBA career: he scored 40 points in a victory. How he got there, though, was a bit newer. James tied a career-high by making nine 3-pointers in the win over the Brooklyn Nets, and he needed only 10 attempts to get there. That brought his 3-point percentage to a career-high 41.6% on the season, reflecting the growing reality that James, who will turn 40 next season, has needed to change his game as a result of his age.

No longer can the four-time MVP build his game solely around his physical excellence. Instead of driving to the rim as frequently as possible, this season he has become a far more efficient jump-shooter. He’s picking his spots more than he ever has, and that’s likely to continue as James gets closer and closer to the end of his legendary career. And after Sunday’s 116-104 win, he acknowledged that the end is nearer than it’s ever been.

“I’m not gonna play another 21 years, that’s for damn sure.” James said. “Not very long. I don’t know when that door will close as far as when I’ll retire. But I don’t have much time left.”

James is eligible for free agency after the season, and reports have suggested he is likely to remain with the Lakers on a three-year deal that either hits or approaches his max salary. Such a contract would potentially allow him to play with both of his sons, as Bronny is draft-eligible this summer while Bryce becomes draft-eligible in 2026. Such a contract would carry James through the 2026-27 season.

But when you’ve reached the same calendar year as your 40th birthday, nothing is ever guaranteed. Any player his age has to take the idea of retirement on a year-to-year basis. James remains an All-NBA-caliber player for now, and he’s adjusted his game enough to remain at that level for the foreseeable future. But physical decline can strike at any…

Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/lebron-james-acknowledges-hes-nearing-the-end-of-his-nba-career-i-dont-have-much-time-left/

Author : Sam Quinn

Publish date : 2024-04-01 03:26:48

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