TORONTO – Retirement isn’t near for LeBron James.
Asked he if could see the end of his career from where he is now in his 15th NBA season, James said, “I do not. I do not.”
Plus, he added, “I’ve got too many sneakers to sell still.”
At 33 years old, he is having one of his best seasons and a fifth MVP award is a strong possibility: 27.2 points, nine assists, 8.2. rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per game and shooting 55.8% from the field, 38.9% on three-pointers and 77.7% from the foul line.
But that doesn’t mean he hasn't thought about retiring from basketball. He was contemplative about this future Thursday morning.
“The only thing is with my kids getting older, that’s the only thing that kind of stops me from going as long as I’d like to,” James said before the Cavaliers played the Toronto Raptors. “I’ve got a 13-year-old son now (LeBron Jr.). He’s in the seventh grade. He’s a damn good basket player, too. On this road trip, I’ve already missed four of his games. That’s the thing that kind of sucks.
“I’ve got a 10-year-old boy (Bryce), 3-year-old girl (Zhuri). Daddy side kicks in sometimes. That will be a deciding factor in how long I want to play.”
James told USA TODAY Sports that he’s able to watch his sons’ games on video, and his sister-in-law also records games. But that isn’t the same as being there.
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With the season he’s having and championship aspirations still strong, James has several more high-quality seasons in him as long as he’s healthy, which he has been for a majority of his career.
“Right now, I feel great. I don’t feel 33,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’ve been to (seven) straight finals in a row. I don’t feel like I came in at 18 and I’ve played 79-80% of games. Just keep it going.
“I’ve already went further than I thought I would go. Every thing after this point is extra credit. Fifteen years. I don’t know, I’ve been in this spotlight for half of my years. I’m 33 now. This thing started when I was 15. 18 years I’ve been in this light. I’ve already exceeded everything I’ve dreamed about. At this point, I’m just adding crazy toppings on the cake like my daughter would do. Throw all kinds of stuff on the cake and whatever happens happens.”
James said he would just “know” when it’s time to retire, just like he knew it was the right time to get engaged and get married.
“I don’t know until you make that decision. The game will let you know when it’s over with,” James said. “Retirement for me is like getting engaged. I didn’t know if I was ready or not. I just felt it was the time. Timing was right. The vibe was right. Did I know I was ready for marriage? I don’t know. I never had nobody in my family get married before. I never experienced it.
“I definitely never had nobody in my family play in the NBA and retire. So, we’ll see. We’ll see.”
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