LeBron James wants to wear purple and gold for the rest of his career, revealing in a recent podcast appearance that he wants to retire as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
James spoke of his future while on the “SmartLess” podcast with celebrity hosts Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes.
“I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers,” James said, via Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll. “However 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… It’s like me being in ‘Space Jam’ — I never thought it would be possible. You think about Kareem, and Magic, and Wilt, and Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, Kobe, Shaq and all of them, the whole list goes on.”
James is currently linked to the Lakers through the 2022-23 season and will be 38 years old at the time his deal expires. However, from the sounds of it, James is eyeing at least one more extension before hanging it up for good — and why not.
In Year 18 James was an MVP contender before an ankle injury sidelined him for 26 of the Lakers final 30 games. However, it should be noted that the ankle injury was caused in somewhat of a freak accident, with Hawks veteran Solomon Hill sliding into him while diving for a ball. Perhaps James’ rehab took a bit longer than it would have previously, but his body has not failed him, despite a tremendous amount of games logged.
James Interested in Playing With Son, Hollywood
It’s not the first time James has talked about his future and he’s been consistent on saying he doesn’t have a timeline in mind for when he’ll call it a career.
“I don’t know how long I’m going to play the game. I don’t know how much more I’ll be able to give to the game. The way I feel right now, we’ll see what happens,” James told reporters earlier this year. “But I have no timetable on it. I have no year of, ‘OK, do I want to play until 30-this or 40-that?’ The game will let me know when it’s time and we’ll figure it out then.”
What James has been firm about is that he’s interested in the opportunity to play in the NBA with his son, Bronny James, who is one of the top high-school players in the country. That being said, a lot of things have to fall the right way for that to happen.
“At the end of this contract, I’ll be in year 20. The best thing about it is the year I’ll be a free agent will be the same year my oldest son graduates high school,” James told reporters. “So I’ll have some options to see, for me personally, what I want to do forward, being around my family, being around my son more or continue to play this game I love with great health and great spirits. We’ll see.”
James also has a bevy of off-court endeavors that will keep him busy once his basketball career is over. James is expected to surpass $1 billion in earnings this year, according to Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes. James could also get more into acting, something he expressed during the SmartLess podcast.
James Looking Forward to Some Rest
While James would rather be competing for his fifth NBA title and his second consecutive in Los Angeles, he’s embracing the rest that comes with getting bounced in the first round — something that had never happened previously in his career.
“It’s going to work wonders for me, obviously,” James said. “During the season I don’t even talk about rest, I don’t even like to put my mind and frame into that, it makes me weak. But in the offseason, I get an opportunity to rest. We’ve got like three months to recalibrate, get my ankle back to 100% where it was before that Atlanta game, and that’s the most important thing for me.”