Lakers Star LeBron James Delivers Strong Message on Nuggets After Sweep

LeBron James and Nikoloa Jokic

Getty Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets is called for an offensive foul against LeBron James.

The Denver Nuggets finished off a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers with a 113-111 Game 4 victory on Monday and LeBron James had nothing but praise for Nikola Jokic and Co.

James and Anthony Davis have battled some good teams during their time in Los Angeles together, winning it all in 2020. But the four-time MVP had little doubt that this edition of the Nuggets was the best put-together squad he’s faced during his time in purple and gold.

“Me and AD were just talking in the locker room for a little bit. I think we came to the consensus, this is if not, one of the best teams, if not the best team, we’ve played together for all four years,” James said. “Just well orchestrated, well put together. They have scoring. They have shooting. They have play-making. They have smarts. They have length. They have depth.”

The Lakers kept it close in every game but didn’t have enough to pull through. James came out scorching in Game 4 to propel the Lakers to a halftime lead, finishing with 40 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. He played all 48 minutes.

“For me, it’s just a mindset. Train the mind, the body will fall where it may and take care of the rest,” James said. “Knowing we were coming into a game where I may have to play the full game, that’s just my mindset. Wasn’t able to come through, and wasn’t able to get the win.”

LeBron James Praises Nikola Jokic After Massive Series

LeBron James Talks Game 4 & Series Loss, FULL Postgame Interview 🎤Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Lakers – Full Game 4 Highlights | May 22, 2023 NBA Playoffs NBA X CREATOR MERCH DROP! CHECK IT OUT – 📌 Follow HoH Instagram: 📌 Follow HoH TikTok: #HouseofHighlights #NBA2023-05-23T04:17:36Z

The Nuggets were guided by Jokic, who looked every bit the part of a two-time MVP. He averaged a triple-double for a second consecutive series, putting up 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds and 11.8 assists against the Lakers.

“One thing about their team, when you have a guy like Jokic, who as big as he is but also as cerebral as he is, you can’t really make many mistakes versus a guy like that,” James said. “And even when you guard him for one of the best possessions that you think you can guard him, he puts the ball behind his head Larry Bird style and shoots it 50 feet in the air and it goes in, like he did four or five times this series. So you do like this to him [tipping cap].”

Jokic’s eighth triple-double of the postseason came in Game 4 was his eighth of the postseason, which broke Wilt Chamberlain’s 1967 NBA record for triple-doubles in a single postseason. When asked what Jokic proved to him in the series, James responded with a quick: “Nothing.”

“I know how great he is,” James added. “I know how great Jokic is. There are certain guys in this league that play the game a certain way, a certain way that I like to play the game as well, and he’s one of them where you are always off balance when you are guarding a player like that because of his ability to score, rebound, shoot. He sees plays before they happen. There’s not many guys in our league like that.”

LeBron James Considering Retirement

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There’s a chance that the loss against the Nuggets was the final game of James’ career. It came out shortly after the game via a report from Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes that James is considering retirement, which was a bit of a stunner.

“Lakers star LeBron James is uncertain if he’ll be with the team when the 2023-24 season starts in the fall, and retirement is under consideration,” Haynes reported. “James is expected to take his time in deciding if he’ll return for Year 21.”

During his postgame press conference, James walked off to a cryptic statement, alluding to the idea of retirement.

“We’ll see what happens going forward. I don’t know. I don’t know,” James said. “I’ve got a lot to think about to be honest. Just for me personally going forward with the game of basketball, I’ve got a lot to think about.”

James has two years and $97 million remaining on his contract. His final year is a player option. He’s expressed interest in playing with his son, Bronny, which clearly wouldn’t be possible if James decided to step away from the game now.

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