“I’ve got a lot to think about, to be honest,” James said. “Just for me personally going forward with the game of basketball, I’ve got a lot to think about.”
Paul has represented James for nearly two decades but declined to give any insight on where his star client might be with his decision.
“I have an expectation just as you do,” Paul told Chris Fedor of cleveland.com. “We’ll see.”
LeBron James’ Retirement Talk Came Out of Frustration
James courting the idea of retirement came as a surprise. He’s still operating at a very high level and considers himself better than “90% of the NBA, maybe 95%.” The 38-year-old James played every minute of the Lakers’ finale against the Nuggets, posting 40 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists.
There’s been some doubt that James is actually considering stepping away, which was voiced by Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone who thinks [James] is retiring,” Woike wrote Thursday. “The biggest reasons given to me for his comments after Game 4: fatigue from the season, frustration with getting swept and a reminder to the front office that the Lakers’ title window is closing, keeping a sense of urgency in the foreground.”
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin had a similar report to Woike, noting that the common belief is that James will be back next season.
“Beyond James’ retirement decision—which could be a nonissue, with a source close to James telling ESPN on Thursday that he believes the Lakers star will indeed be back for season No. 21 and fulfill his contract—the biggest question facing the Lakers this offseason is figuring out what to do at point guard,” McMenamin reported.
James has two years and $97 million left on his contract and he’s also been very open about wanting to play with his son, Bronny, who will be draft-eligible in 2024.
LeBron James Will Likely Need Foot Surgery
James played the entirety of the postseason with a torn tendon in his right foot, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. Charania estimated that if James has surgery, it will require him to take two months off.
James said after returning in March that he was recommended season-ending surgery but instead decided to battle through the injury after seeing the “LeBron James of feet.”
“I knew I could get to the finish line,” James said in an interview with ESPN. “Obviously, I knew I had to deal with it and deal with the pain or deal with not being able to be myself before the injury, but there was nothing that made me feel like I couldn’t get to the finish line.
“I’m going to get an MRI on it and see how the tendon either healed or not healed and go from there. We’ll see what happens.”
James played 55 games last season, averaging around 36 minutes per contest with the Lakers. He averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists.