LeBron Retirement Questioned, Lakers Eliminated Despite James’ Historic First Half | Kamle

Retirement


Greg Beacham, Associated Press

18 minutes ago

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James looks down near the end of Game 4 of the NBA Basketball Western Conference Finals Series in Los Angeles on Monday, May 22, 2023, in a loss to the Denver Nuggets. . (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James kicked off the final game of the NBA’s 2020 season with the highest postseason scoring record in half of his unparalleled NBA career.

He ended the night questioning his retirement after his Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated in the Western Conference Finals.

James set a PR with 31 points in the first half of Game 4 on Monday night, but a possible tie in the final minute as the Denver Nuggets ended the Lakers’ season with a 113-111 win. I missed two chutes.

The 38-year-old James tallied 40 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, a major disappointment after a spectacular late-season run ended in four straight losses. The NBA’s all-time leading scorer has spoken out about himself as a member of the Lakers next season, but James also said he hasn’t made up his mind yet.

“We’ll see what happens,” James said in his final answer at the post-game press conference. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I have a lot to think about, to be honest.

James has a $46.9 million deal with the Lakers next season, but his future is at stake after surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record earlier this year. He’s never hinted at much personal struggles about ending his contract with Anthony Davis, and his playing hasn’t really slowed down after 20 years in the NBA, but he’s in good health. , especially the bulk feet and ankles have become less robust.

“It’s all about my availability, keeping my head sharp, and things like that,” James said. “When you’re on the floor, when you’re in the locker room, when you’re on the bus or on the plane, that kind of thing. It’s been a great season, and of course we know what happened early on (the Lakers started the season with a 2-10 record), it was a very cool, very cool ride. “

James missed a month with a foot injury late in the regular season, but returned with a string of stellar performances in the playoffs as the Lakers defeated No. 2-seeded Memphis and eliminated defending champions Golden State. . It wasn’t much of a problem for James, but frustration erupted at some point after Game 4.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been a successful year because at this point in my career, I’m not playing for anything other than to win championships,” James said. “You know, I don’t get excited about making the conference[finals]. I’ve done that many times, but not being able to make the[NBA]finals is not fun for me.”

In his NBA-record 282nd career playoff game, James dropped 21 points in a dynamic first quarter in Game 4. He added 10 more points in the second quarter while playing almost half of the first quarter’s do-or-die game against the top-seeded Nuggets.

But James scored just 9 points on 4-of-12 shooting in the second half, missing two chances in the final minute. He landed a bizarre fallaway jumper with 26 seconds remaining, but missed, and his final drive into the whoops was buzzed off by Denver’s Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon.

But the first half was vintage LeBron. In the first half of the playoffs, which began in 2003 and was the most scoring playoff of his career, including four-time NBA champions, he made 11 of 13 shots and made four 3-pointers without missing. rice field. James had four rebounds and four assists and was also called for a technical foul after a physical exchange with Gordon at the Lakers’ end of the court.

James has struggled to pitch far in the series so far, going 3-for-19 in the first three games. He corrected his shot in Game 4 and also scored a 3-point shot in the first quarter when a lob pass to Rui Hachimura accidentally went into the basket.

James already had the highest scoring average (33.5 points per game) in NBA history for any player who appeared in at least 10 elimination games.

After failing to win a title this year, James is skeptical about whether he wants to win one again. A major obstacle to considering his retirement is his long-standing desire to play an NBA season with his son Bronnie. Bronnie will be a freshman at USC this fall, but he won’t be able to join the league until fall 2024 at the earliest.

Asked to rate his 20th season, James said, “I think I’m going to look back on my career when it’s over, but I don’t know.” “My only concern is whether my teammates will be able to participate, but I don’t like the fact that I didn’t play as many games as I would have liked due to my injury. , just whether a teammate is available.”

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