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LeBron James Reflects on NBA Future After Lakers Win: ‘Time is Running Out’

NEW YORK — LeBron James is unsure of when he will retire, but he acknowledges that it is coming soon.

Following his impressive performance of scoring 40 points and tying his career-high with nine 3-pointers in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 116-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on Sunday, James was asked about his future in the NBA.

“Not very long,” James replied. “Not very long. I’m on the other side of the hill. I won’t be playing another 21 years, that’s for sure. But not very long. I’m uncertain about when I’ll retire, but the time left is limited.”

Less than 30 minutes earlier, the 39-year-old James received a standing ovation from the crowd after his outstanding fourth-quarter performance, scoring 17 points and making all four of his 3-point attempts.

When Brooklyn closed the lead to just eight points, 90-82, James responded with consecutive 3-pointers and hit a total of four within five minutes, extending the Lakers’ lead to 18 points in the fourth quarter.

“It’s amazing,” coach Darvin Ham commented. “I told him before his final stretch on the court and when we eventually subbed him out. I am extremely grateful that he delivered such an extraordinary performance. We needed all of those 3-pointers.”

In his 21st season, James is currently shooting a career-best 41.6 percent on 3-pointers, attributing this performance to improved health and more practice time on off days.

“My foot feels much better,” James shared. “Last year, I couldn’t practice much due to my foot injury. This year, I have had more opportunities to practice and focus on my shot consistency.”

Anthony Davis, who has played alongside James for five seasons, praised his teammate’s exceptional shooting against the Nets, acknowledging the efficiency, volume, and difficulty of his shots.

Regarding his future with the Lakers and in the NBA, James has a $51.4 million player option for the next season and will consider his options this summer:

  • Opting into his contract for the next season with the Lakers.
  • Opting in and extending with the Lakers for up to three years and $164 million.
  • Opting out and re-signing with the Lakers for up to three years, $162 million.
  • Opting out and signing with another team for up to three years, $157.5 million.
  • Retiring.

Both James and the Lakers prefer that he retires as a Laker, according to team and league sources.

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(Photo: Mike Stobe / Getty Images)


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