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  • Posted by Rayo Online
  • Date : 23 May 2023
  • Time : 01:09PM

LeBron James says he has "a lot to think about" after the Los Angeles Lakers were knocked out of the NBA play-offs by the Denver Nuggets.

The Lakers were beaten 4-0 in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals by the Denver Nuggets.

It leaves the Lakers without a trophy for the third consecutive season, while James' post-game comments have fuelled talk he could be set to retire.

"We'll see what happens going forward. I don't know," said James, 38.

"I've got a lot to think about to be honest," he added.

The star forward is arguably the biggest name in the sport after 20 seasons in the league, during which time he has set numerous records.

The four-time NBA champion won two titles with Miami Heat before leading Cleveland Cavaliers to the only NBA title in their history in 2016 and guided the Lakers to the 2020 crown - the fourth time he was named Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP).

The two-time Olympic champion has also won four regular season MVP titles and appeared in the NBA Finals 10 times.

In February, he became the NBA's all-time leading scorer, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's long-standing record of 38,387, set in 1989.But after Monday's defeat, where he scored 31 points in the first half and finished with 40 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, he described the season as "challenging".

"I don't know. I think it was OK. I don't like to say it's a successful year because I don't play for anything besides winning championships at this point in my career," he said.

"I don't get a kick out of making a Conference [finals] appearance. I've done it, a lot. And it's not fun to me to not be able to be a part of getting to the Finals.

"For me, it's all about availability for me and keeping my mind sharp and things of that nature, being present on the floor, being present in the locker room and bus rides and plane rides, things of that nature. It's challenging.

"But we'll see. We'll see. We'll see what happens going forward."

James signed a two-year contract extension with the Lakers last August that would keep him at the club through the 2024-2025 season.

He has long said that he wants to extend his career in order to play with or against his eldest son Bronny, who will play college basketball next season at the University of Southern California and who could conceivably enter the NBA in time for the 2024-2025 campaign.James, 38, just finished his 20th NBA season as the all-time leading scorer and on the doorstep of another finals run, but there's only so much he can do.

"It's not fun to not be able to get to the finals," James said. "We'll see what happens down the road. I don't know. I got a lot to think about, to be honest. Just with me, personally moving forward with the game of basketball, I got a lot to think about."

Carmelo Anthony, from the same draft class as James, announced his retirement earlier in the day, leaving LeBron as the only one left from that year.

That may be shortlived, especially considering that James will likely require surgery on his foot in the offseason, and his aging body might not take it as well as in the past.

 LeBron will no longer wait for Bronny?
Bronny James, LeBron's oldest son, is just a couple years away from being eligible for the NBA draft.

James has previously stated that his only remaining goal in the league is to play alongside Bronny, but the tone has changed after elimination.It's also possible that he takes a year off before returning to play for the team that drafts Bronny.

Whatever the case may be, it's likely the end of an era regardless, because another deep playoff push by James seems like a massive task to ask of a man reaching 40 years of age.