36-year-old LeBron James is heading towards the twilight of his career and aims to finish it by remaining with the Los Angeles Lakers. The veteran had signed with the Lakers three seasons ago after finishing his second stint with the Cavaliers.
Last season’s NBA Finals MVP had a season to forget following the franchise’s exit at the hands of eventual finalists Phoenix Suns. The Lakers were drawn to face the second seed in the Western Conference due to their poor seventh-placed finish in the regular season.
LeBron completed his 18th year as an NBA player, four short of the impressive 22-year stint record set by Vince Carter. The four-time winner signed a two-year extension worth $85 million with the franchise in December, which will keep him until the end of the 2023 season.
The main obstacle will remain in the form of fitness. The player missed out on plenty of games in the regular season due to a high-ankle sprain and was not fully fit during the first round of the playoff series.
“I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers,” James said on the SmartLess podcast “And how many years that is, if it’s four, five, six, whatever, seven, I hope I can continue to play the game. I love being in L.A., my family loves being in L.A.
“Being with a historical franchise like the Lakers is something like, it’s like me being in ‘Space Jam’ now. I never thought it’d be possible.”
He also noted about the illustrious list of players that the franchise has dished out in its history. From the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Magic Johnson to Shaquille O’Neal to Kobe Bryant, the list goes on.
LeBron’s desire to retire with the Lakers seems very likely
The former Cavaliers and Heat ace has settled in well at Los Angeles. He received his fourth ring last season in the bubble and will hope to go for his fifth next season.
Moreover, with his desire to enter the entertainment field and the fact that his family settled in the West now, it is highly unlikely that LeBron James will play for a fourth franchise in the NBA.
The Lakers will be also happy to keep the player on board given his value on and off the court. They would be hoping for yet another run for the title if LeBron and Anthony Davis can remain injury-free.